Rachel Carson: Founder of Environmentalism
By: AlexN619
AJN Rachel Carson portrait.jpgEarly Life/ Education
Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Growing up, she was the youngest of three children and poor. However, she was introduced to nature at an early age because her family lived on a 65-acre farm. She attended local school through the 10th grade to save her parents money. In the 11th grade, she transferred to Parnassus High School for her last 2 years of high school. Once she graduated, she went to study at The Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh, PA. Carson was granted $200 tuition to John Hopkins College for graduate school in 1929. Rachel accepted to join a research team at the beach her first year there.
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Rachel Carson was born in Springdale, PA, which is about 20 miles from Pittsburgh, PA.

Rachel Carson became a marine biologist, which is a person who studies the oceans. She accepted a position as an aquatic biologist with the United States Bureau of Fisheries. Carson held that post for 16 years, then Carson moved up to take the role of editor-in-chief of the Fish and Wildlife Services publications. She wrote several books, including Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea around Us, and The Edge of the Sea (1955).

Famous Work
Rachel Carson spent 5 years researching and writing her most famous book, Silent Spring (1960). The book details the harmful effects of DDT and other pesticides. It was her second best-seller, and today is regarded as the foundation of the modern environmental movement. The book made her an even more famous writer and marine biologist. In 1963, CBS made a documentary on Silent Spring, which was viewed by 10 to 15 million people.

Death and Aftermath
Rachel Carson died on April 14, 1964, in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the age of 56. That same year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act. Also in 1972, DDT was banned from the United States of America. Congress passed the Superfund Act in 1980 to aid those harmed by deadly chemicals. Without Rachel Carson’s efforts to make us aware of harmful chemicals and how they hurt or damage the environment, all of these acts and laws may be being debated by Congress right now.

Fun Facts
  • Won a National Book Award in 1951 for The Sea Around Us (1951).
  • Her most famous book, Silent Spring (1960), was inspired by a letter from a friend from Duxbury, MA. It described how after planes came through spraying chemicals over crops to rid them of bugs, they would find dead birds all over the property.

Gillam, Scott. Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Environmentalism. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub., c2011. Print.
Jezer, Marty. Rachel Carson. New York: Chelsea House, 1988. Print.
Presnall, Judith Janda. The Importance of Rachel Carson. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1995. Print.
“Rachel Carson”. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, ????, Web. ????.

Image Citations
[Image]. http://media1.school.eb.com//eb-media/11/99911-004-98956094.jpg. September 18, 2013. Web.
[Image]. http://www.bestplaces.net/images/city/Springdale_PA.gif. September 23, 2013. Web.

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