Former coal miner will examine environmentalism, community reactions in Iowa State lecture

AMES, Iowa – Nick Mullins was the fifth generation in his family to work the Appalachia coal mines. This month, he’s bringing that insight and his research of Appalachian issues, environmentalism and the coal industry to Iowa State University.

“Coal, Climate and Environmental Backlash” will take place at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. A poster display and reception will be held prior to the lecture, starting at 7 p.m. in the South Ballroom. This event is free and open to the public. 

Nick Mullins

Nick Mullins

Mullins grew up in southwestern Virginia, where working in underground coal mines has been a way of life. After leaving the mines, he received a bachelor’s degree in communications with focuses on Appalachian, sustainability and environmental studies from Berea College in Kentucky. He is author of the blog, “The Thoughtful Coal Miner.”

He has toured the country in an effort to educate audiences about Appalachia’s dichotomy between jobs and environment, and the political motivations of mining communities.

His presentation will examine community reactions to environmental activism against surface mining practices, as well as the coal industry’s responses.

This lecture is the University Symposium on Sustainability keynote and part of the National Affairs Series. It is co-sponsored by Green Umbrella, national affairs committee, Office of Sustainability, and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.

Find more information about ISU lectures online or by calling 515-294-9935.