Donald Askins, an Alabama native, taught at Clinch Valley College in Wise, Virginia, before becoming the first Executive Director for the Appalachian Coalition, whose main focus was the elimination of strip mining. He is responsible for taking the aerial photographs of the mining operations in this collection in 1977 through 1979 as documentation of the effects of strip mining. Later, he pursued a criminal law degree and was elected Commonwealth attorney in 1991 until 2000. He retired to Clintwood, Virginia in 2000. He passed away at his home in Clintwood on March 30, 2015.