A Blog by Nature

AKBN Hero: Rachel Carson

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson, 1940, Fish & Wildlife Service  employee photo

When Rachel Carson was a little girl, the two things she loved most were animals and writing stories. She often had animal characters in her stories. Ms. Carson grew up to become a marine biologist during a time when not many women went into this field. She became concerned about pesticides when she saw how they affected fish and other marine life. (Pesticides are any chemical meant to kill insects.)

In 1957, Ms. Carson saw how the United States Department of Agriculture fought fire ants by spraying pesticides mixed with fuel oil. She wondered how this affected all the animals in the areas sprayed, and soon realized that the fire ants caused less damage to the environment than the spraying did. Ms. Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, which explained how the pesticide DDT killed not just insects but the birds and fish who ate those insects as well as bigger animals who ate the poisoned fish and birds. The title Silent Spring refers to how quiet it becomes when pesticides kill all the songbirds. Many people call Ms. Carson “the conscience of a nation” because she worked so hard to make sure the lives of animals weren’t forgotten. Because of Rachel Carson, people understood more about protecting the Earth and all its creatures.

Watch a short video about Rachel Carson’s life. Join A Kid By Nature on Facebook and tell us which animals you are most concerned about right now. Will this affect what work you choose to do when you’re an adult?

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Categories: Heros, For Kids, For Parents

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