March 22, 1907 - April 14, 1964
Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. She grew up simply in the rural river town of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Her mother nurtured her life-long love of nature, which she expressed first as a writer and later as a student of marine biology. She was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts during the Depression, which began a fifteen-year career in the federal service as a scientist and editor. In 1936 she was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of all publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Disturbed by the toxic use of synthetic chemicals such as DDT after World War II, Carson shifted her focus in order to warn the public about the long-term effects of misusing pesticides. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. Her crusading efforts were highly influential in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and other government regulations.
"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility."
"But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself."