Rachel Carson graduated from Chatham College in 1929 and earned a master’s degree in zoology from the John Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1932. Forced to abandon her PhD for financial reasons, she took a position with the US Bureau of Fisheries as a science writer. She became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s, publishing the bestseller The Sea Around Us in 1952. Later Carson turned her attention to conservation, particularly problems she believed were caused by the widespread and unregulated use of synthetic pesticides. In 1962, Silent Spring was published, which is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement.

Learn more at The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson.