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Rachel Carson

Image of Rachel Carson: A life in science and writing

Image of timeline


Rachel Carson was born May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania.


She showed promise as a writer at an early age, winning competitions at 10 years old. She also developed a strong love for nature.


Image of Carson attended Pennsylvania College for WomenCarson attended Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University), switching her major from English to biology. She later entered Johns Hopkins University to study marine ecology and completed her Master’s degree but did not finish her PhD as she had to support her mother and siblings.






Image of US Fish and Wildlife ServiceShe joined the US Bureau of Fisheries - later to be the US Fish and Wildlife Service - as a part-time science writer in 1932, becoming full-time in 1936.








E, F, and G:

Over several years, she wrote three scientific yet lyrical books about the ocean:

Image of three scientific yet lyrical books about the ocean

Image of Rachel Carson in 1955Image of Rachel Carson at her home in Maine


Carson became increasingly aware of the impacts of pesticides on the environment, and began writing Silent Spring. While writing the book she was battling breast cancer, which claimed her life less than two years after its publication, on April 14, 1964, at age 56.


Image of The Sense of Wonder bookA short book for children, The Sense of Wonder, was published in 1965, after her death.