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PBS North Carolina Announces New Installment of Climate Change Series ‘State of Change’



‘State of Change: Seeds of Hope’ premieres Monday, April 22, on PBS NC.


Watch trailer. >

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 4/3/2024 — PBS North Carolina announces State of Change: Seeds of Hope, the third installment of its Emmy Award-winning series about the impact of climate change in North Carolina. The new half-hour special showcases North Carolinians who are adapting to our changing climate in new and inspiring ways, from land conservation and sustainable farming to solar energy.

State of Change: Seeds of Hope premieres Monday, April 22, at 9 PM on PBS NC, online and on the free PBS App.

“We’re already experiencing climate change, but there are things we can do now to help communities and ecosystems adapt,” says Michelle Lotker, State of Change executive producer. “This season, we meet amazing people trying to create a better North Carolina for everyone: nonprofits conserving land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a farm outside Asheville working to develop a more resilient food system and groups helping rural communities benefit from renewable energy investments. I hope these stories inspire people to look at the remarkable work happening in their own backyards to increase climate resilience and take action.”

State of Change is part of the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines, a nationwide climate reporting initiative in coastal states. In addition to the broadcast special, stories from the series will be shared on PBS North Carolina’s website and YouTube channel. On the website, digital shorts will be accompanied by three long-form blog articles about the people and organizations featured this season.

“Our goal at PBS North Carolina is to share valuable, well-researched information with communities throughout the state,” says Lotker. “We’re very grateful for the Pulitzer Center’s generous support, which allows us to develop deep, multi-dimensional stories about people who are making a positive impact and share them with North Carolina and beyond.”

In addition to the broadcast special and digital stories, content from the series will be shared with students in classrooms across the state.

“The Pulitzer Center has been a steady supporter of State of Change because it delivers engaging climate-science storytelling that is accessible and relevant to audiences across NC,” says Steve Sapienza, Senior Editor, U.S. News Partnerships, at the Pulitzer Center. “For three seasons, State of Change has been a shining star in our Connected Coastlines local climate reporting initiative. The series epitomizes the type of locally focused, well-sourced, meaningful climate science reporting we hoped to enable through our initiative.”


Featured Stories

Altapass Orchard: Conserving Land for Climate Resiliency

The Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its views, but the surrounding land is privately owned. Learn how Conservation Trust for North Carolina works with property owners to protect the land, conserving views and habitat for wildlife impacted by climate change. Plus, pay a visit to the Historic Orchard at Altapass to see how land conservation doesn’t mean land untouched by humans.


Utopian Seed Project: Rethinking Our Food System 

With climate change comes more weather extremes that threaten our vulnerable food system. Discover how the Utopian Seed Project in western North Carolina is building more climate resilience for North Carolina by selecting crop varieties adapted to our changing climate and introducing hardy tropical staples to farmers and chefs in the region. 


EnerWealth: Growing Solar Options in Rural Communities 

Can farming and solar-energy production coexist? EnerWealth Solutions and Roanoke Cooperative work with farmers and landowners in rural North Carolina to harness the power of renewable solar energy alongside agricultural production and help ensure that revenue is shared equitably. 


Related Events 

A free screening of State of Change: Seeds of Hope was offered online and in person at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh on Thursday, April 4, at 7 PM, as part of the North Carolina Science Festival. After the screening, Sci NC host Frank Graff moderated a panel discussion with scientists and journalists from around the state to provide an up-close look at climate change issues and answer questions from the community.

Panelists included Kathie Dello of the NC State Climate Office; Mary Alice Holley of Conservation Trust for North Carolina; Steve Kalland of the NC Energy Collaborative; Michelle Lotker of PBS North Carolina; Ajulo Othow of EnerWealth Solutions and the Center for Progressive Reform; and Jacob Rutz of Elon University.

Additionally, PBS North Carolina Education will host Empowered Youth Voices: Climate Change Solutions, a free youth-led event for 8th to 12th graders and educators on Wednesday, April 10, 10 AM–4 PM, at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Students will learn how to share their perspectives on climate issues by creating engaging, impactful content, including videos, podcasts and more. This event is made possible by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.


Visit to explore more films and programs that illuminate the profound impact of the natural environment on our lives.


About the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines Initiative

Connected Coastlines is a nationwide climate reporting initiative in the U.S. coastal states. The initiative is building a consortium of newsrooms and independent journalists across America to report on the local effects of erratic weather patterns on coastal populations using the latest climate science. Since launching the initiative in 2019, the Pulitzer Center has helped launch 53 reporting projects in 20 states with over 75 journalism partners. Learn more about the Pulitzer Center at


About PBS North Carolina

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third largest public media market, PBS North Carolina educates, informs, entertains and inspires its audience on air, online and in person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery and four over-the-air channels: PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS North Carolina serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state emergency services. To learn more about PBS North Carolina, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.




Media Contact
Allyson Meade, Marketing & Communications
PBS North Carolina

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