Saturday, May 29, 2010

More on Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was born in a small rural Pennsylvania community near the Allegheny River. Her mother bequeathed to her a life-long love of nature and the living world, and Rachel spent a great deal of time exploring the forests and streams around her 65-acre farm. As a young child, Carson's consuming passions were the nature surrounding her hillside home and her writing. She was first "published" at the age of 10 in a children's magazine dedicated to the work of young writers. Other youngsters who first saw their words in print in St. Nicholas included William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

In 1925 Carson entered Pennsylvania College for Women as an English major determined to become a writer. Midway into her studies, however, she switched to biology. Her first experience with the ocean came during a summer fellowship at the U.S. Marine Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Pennsylvania College, Carson was awarded a scholarship to complete her graduate work in biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, an enormous accomplishment for a woman in 1929.

Carson's distinction in both writing and biology won her a part-time position with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries in 1935 where she was asked to create a series of seven-minute radio programs on marine life called "Romance Under the Waters." Meantime, she continued to submit writings on conservation and nature to newspapers and magazines, urging from the very beginning the need to regulate the "forces of destruction" and consider always the welfare of the "fish as well as that of the fisherman." Her articles were published regularly by the Baltimore Sun and other of its syndicated papers.

This is only the beginning of her fascinating life and career. To learn more continue reading at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

The biographical summary above was compiled for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge by: Frank Graham, Jr. with Carl Buchheister. The Audubon Ark: A History of the National Audubon Society.Kevin Kilcullen. "Interview with Shirley Briggs about Rachel Carson."Linda Lear. Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature.National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Richard H. Stroud, Ed., National Leaders of American Conservation.


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