Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 385


Donaldson Koons was born in Korea on August 23, 1917 to Presbyterian missionary parents. He moved to the United States at the age of 17 and enrolled at the College of Wooster, in Ohio. He got his masters and Ph.D. in Geology at Columbia before enlisting in the military in 1943. Upon his return to the States he taught at Columbia and West Virginia University. He moved to Colby College in 1947, where he stayed until his retirement. He was appointed to the Maine Water Improvement Commission by Ken Curtis in 1967, and has been active in Maine environmental protection issues.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: growing up in Korea; Japanese occupation of Korea; sugar beet project; economic and environmental implications of sugar beets; cleaning Maine rivers; sewage treatment program; political implications of the Prestile Stream; New England Conference on Air Pollution in 1969; environmental problems of Maine; nuclear power as an alternative; political problems with nuclear power; Maine Yankee's location; Maine Yankee debate; testifying before a Senate committee; relationship with the Gray family in Waterville; Ken Curtis as governor; Republican Party in Maine; and income tax legislation.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.