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Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose research and writings on environmental pollution are noted as significant contributions to the global environmental movement.
See the fact file below for more information on the Rachel Carson or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Rachel Carson worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Rachel Louise Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania.
- Her father was Robert Warden Carson, an insurance salesman, and her mother was Maria Frazier.
- She grew up on her family’s farm in Springdale.
- She enjoyed reading and writing literature, particularly on the themes of nature and the ocean.
- Rachel studied at a local elementary school and high school in Parnassus, Pennsylvania.
- She graduated from high school at the top of her class in 1925.
- She entered Pennsylvania College for Women and initially majored in English, before switching her field of study to biology.
- She received admission to Johns Hopkins University but stayed at Pennsylvania College for Women due to financial constraints.
- She graduated magna cum laude in 1929.
- Upon graduation, she went to graduate school as a part-time student at Johns Hopkins University where she studied zoology.
- She earned her master’s degree in June 1932.
TEACHER AND BIOLOGIST
- In 1931, she began teaching at the University of Maryland. She taught there for five years.
- In 1936 Carson began working as an aquatic biologist with the US Bureau of Fisheries, where she worked until 1952.
- At the Bureau of Fisheries, she analyzed data on fish populations and wrote literature based on the research.
- While working for the bureau, she wrote about her research for local newspapers such as The Baltimore Sun.
- In 1940, the Bureau transformed into the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency devoted to the management of fish and wildlife.
- By 1945, she became editor-in-chief of the publications of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
- In 1941, her first book Under the Sea Wind: A Naturalist’s Picture of Ocean Life was published by Simon & Schuster. It received critical praise for its content and style, despite not being a commercial bestseller.
- Under the Sea became a bestseller after the success of its sequel, The Sea Around Us, published in 1951.
- The Sea Around Us covered the prehistoric beginnings of the sea up to the latest scientific explorations.
- Her second book became a national bestseller and won a National Book Award. It has since been translated into 30 languages.
- It was also her second book that made Carson more popular as a writer and conservationist.
- In 1955, she published her third book The Edge of the Sea.
- Her first three books make up what would be called her sea trilogy.
- In the mid-1940s, Carson grew increasingly concerned about pesticide use upon its development during the First World War.
- She was all the more driven to research and write about the topic after the US government launched the gypsy moth eradication program in 1957.
- The program involved spraying of pesticides, particularly the insecticide DDT (dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane).
- She conducted investigations about illnesses and ecological destruction that resulted from pesticide exposure.
- In 1962, she published her best-known book Silent Spring which not only became a bestseller but also raised awareness around the world of the dangers of environmental pollution.
- The title of the book is a metaphor for nature’s bleak future.
- In the book, Carson wrote about the harmful effects and consequences of the use of pesticide and how the planet was reaching its limits, beyond what it is able to sustain.
- Carson predicted that the consequences would intensify as pests would develop pesticide resistance and invade and weaken ecosystems.
- The book proposed an alternative to the use of chemical pesticides: a biotic approach to pest control.
- She was not the first person to write about such environmental concerns but her work reached a broader readership. Since then, it has been credited for advancing the modern environmental movement.
- The environmental movement that emerged in the 1960s is rooted in the belief that the Earth is heading towards a bleak future given how terribly humans treat the natural world at present.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- While working on Silent Spring, Carson fell ill and malignant cysts were discovered in her left breast.
- She underwent radiation treatment which weakened her.
- She caught a respiratory virus in January 1964 and her condition worsened. The cancer had reached her liver.
- She died on April 14, 1964, from a heart attack, at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
- Carson’s work is considered some of the most influential writing on environmental concerns.
- Her work had a direct impact on the campaign to ban the use of DDT in the United States.
Rachel Carson Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Rachel Carson across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Rachel Carson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Rachel Carson who was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose research and writings on environmental pollution are noted as significant contributions to the global environmental movement.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Rachel Carson Facts
- Teacher, Researcher, Author
- Correct Timeline
- Marine Vocabulary
- Title Completion
- About Silent Spring
- Famous Conservationists
- Rachel Reflection
- Legacy Collage
- Protest Poster
- Current News
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Link will appear as Rachel Carson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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