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Rachel Carson Biography – The Marine Biologist and Conservationist who Worked for the Environmental Movement

By incorporating her expertise in marine biology and passion for writing, Rachel Carson inspired the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She was a significant force in the global environmental movement through her books, including "The Edge of the Sea" and "Under the Sea Wind."

Rachel Carson BiographyPHOTO BY PUBLIC DOMAIN

Rachel Carson Biography - Life and Career

Carson was born Rachel Louise Carson on a 65-acre farm near Springdale, Pennsylvania, on May 27, 1907. Because of the huge age gap between her and her older siblings, Rachel grew up to be somewhat of a loner, choosing to write, read or roam the woods near their home by herself or with her mother. Rural life would become an influential chapter of the Rachel Carson biography. She finished high school in Parnassus, Pennsylvania at the top of her class and earned a degree in Biology at Pennsylvania College for Women in 1929, all the while nurturing her love for plant and animal life. Years later when she had earned her Master’s degree in zoology at Johns Hopkins University, she wrote radio scripts for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries and made supplemental income by submitting her own feature articles about natural history to the Baltimore Sun. Rachel’s prolific writing career includes the 1952 National Book Award for one of her books, The Sea Around Us. A less talked about part of the Rachel Carson biography is her relationship with Dorothy Freeman, which has been described as a romantic friendship.

Rachel Carson Quotes - Verbal and Literary

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘what if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” This is only one of the memorable Rachel Carson quotes immortalized in modern history. It is safe to say that Rachel did not only see nature for its scientific worth but as inspiration to appreciate life. In her book The Sense of Wonder, Rachel expresses her love for the environment by saying she would ask a fairy “that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.” Another one of the famous Rachel Carson quotes reads, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find the resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson - Book Summary

Two years before she fell ill with breast cancer and died of a heart attack in 1964, Carson wrote about the environmental impact of synthetic pesticides in her book Silent Spring. The book was inspired in part by a federal lawsuit related to the aerial spraying of DDT over Long Island, New York. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson stressed the harmful effects of unregulated pesticide use on animals, birds and humans. The book’s title came from a poem that describes a silence in a spring season when singing birds have vanished. Carson’s advocacy prompted the U.S. government to investigate pesticide use and to enact regulations for chemical pesticides.

Written by Lucy King

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