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Rachel Carson Posters, Books, Video, Links for Learning
for the ecology, science, social studies, and language arts classrooms and homeschoolers.

women > RACHEL CARSON < ecology < science

Rachel Carson
b. 5-27-1907; Springdale, Pennsylvania
d. 4-14-1964; Silver Spring, MD

Biologist and author Rachel Carson brought her passion and talents for science and literature together in a lasting legacy of environmental care, and helped make “ecology” a household word.

Rachel learned respect for nature and independence from the rules of the day from her parents, Robert Warden Carson and Maria McClean Carson, as well as a love for learning from her mother who had been a teacher.

As a ten year old Rachel wrote a prize winning story, and saw it in print. She knew from that moment she wanted to be a writer. When Rachel went to college she studied literature and planned on a career as an author. It was a required science courses that reawakened her love of nature and at the last moment she changed her major, graduating with a degree in science and going on to earn a Masters degree in marine zoology.

Working for the Bureau of Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Service she produced many brochures and articles. In 1952 she was able to devote full time to her writing when two of her books were on the New York Times Best Seller List.

It was her 1962 book Silent Spring that caused the most, and lasting, uproar - Rachel had carefully researched and documented the devastation the chemical DDT was creating, and the chemical industry attacked her as a fanatic.

Rachel Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian decoration, posthumously in 1980.

Rachel Carson Quotes

Environmental Education

Women of Science - Rachel Carson Wall Poster
Rachel Carson,
Women of Science

Women of Science -
Rachel Carson, Marine Biologist

• more Women of Science posters

Rachel Carson, Writers Who Changed the World, Poster
Rachel Carson,
Writers Who Changed the World Poster

Writers Who Changed the World -
Rachel Carson

• more Writers Who Changed the World posters

Biologist and Author Rachel Carson working with Microscope at her Home, Photographic Print
Rachel Carson

Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph of biologist and author Rachel Carson working with microscope at her home first appeared in LIFE Magazine on October 12, 1962.

Pollution & the Environment Wall Poster
Pollution & the Environment
Wall Poster

Pollution & the Environment

• more Ecology posters
oceanography posters

Sand Dollar, Art Print, Rachel Carson Quote
Sand Dollar,
Art Print

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the world are never alone.” Rachel Carson

Turn Again, Art Print, Rachel Carson Quote
Turn Again, Art Print,
Rachel Carson Quote

“The affinity of the human spirit for the earth and its beauties is deeply and logically rooted. As human beings, we are part of the whole stream of life.” Rachel Carson

DDT, Photographic Print
Photographic Print

DDT (Dichloro - Diphenyl - Trichloroethane) is a synthetic pesticide used in WWII to control mosquitoes that spread insect born diseases like malaria and typhus. After WWII it was used as an agricultural insecticide. In 1962 Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring exposed the environmental impact of using DDT without understanding the full effect on ecology and human health.

Great American Women - Rachel Carson Wall Poster
Rachel Carson,
Great American Women Poster series

no longer available

Rachel Carson

Poster Text: More than any other person, Rachel Carson helped make “ecology” a household word. She spent nearly fifteen years of her life working in obscurity for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But the publication of her books “The Sea Around Us” and “Silent Spring,” brought her immediate fame.

Rachel was born in 1907 on a small farm in Pennsylvania, as a young girl, she loved to explore the woods and fields near her home. She once wrote: “I can remember no time when I wasn't interested in the out-of-doors and the whole world of nature.” At first, she wanted to be a writer. But a college course in biology inspired her to think about a career in science instead. Eventually, she combined her two loves.

Her first two books, “Under the Sea-Wind” and “The Sea Around Us,” describe the oceans and the life they contain. But it was "Silent Spring," published in 1962, that made her famous. The book warned of the dangers of pesticides, which Ms. Carson discovered were killing fish and birds as well as insects. Some scientists said she exaggerated this danger. But most agreed that “Silent Spring” was both accurate and timely. The book lead directly to new laws regulating the use of pesticides, and it aroused millions to a new concern about humanity's growing impact on the natural environment around us.

• more Great American Women posters

chemistry posters
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Environmental Bookshelf

• “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species – man – acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.”
• “Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”
• “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
• “Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
• “The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials.”

• Books by and about Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature by Linda J. Lear - author does justice to the tragic dimensions of Rachel Carson’s life in her prologue, which shows the author of Silent Spring, even as she was dying of cancer, testifying calmly before a congressional subcommittee whose investigation of the dangers of pesticides were prompted by her book. Lear portrays Carson with affection and discernment as a remarkable woman who overcame prejudice against female scientists and aroused post-World War II America to the beauties of nature and the technological threats against it in a series of deservedly popular books.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson - Written over the years 1958 to 1962, Silent Spring took a hard look at the effects of insecticides and pesticides on songbird populations throughout the United States, whose declining numbers yielded the silence to which her title attests. “What happens in nature is not allowed to happen in the modern, chemical-drenched world,? she writes, ?where spraying destroys not only the insects but also their principal enemy, the birds. When later there is a resurgence of the insect population, as almost always happens, the birds are not there to keep their numbers in check.” The publication of her impeccably reported text helped change that trend by setting off a wave of environmental legislation and galvanizing the nascent ecological movement. It is justly considered a classic, and it is well worth rereading today.

Rachel Carson : Friend of the Earth (Easy Biographies) by Francene Sabin - biography of the well-known conservationist and the author of the best-selling Silent Spring for 9-12 year olds.

Universe Beneath the Seas video set


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last updated 2/13/14