Born in 1907 on a farm near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rachel Carson at an early age became interested in nature, wildlife and writing. At first an English major in college, she changed to biology. An excellent student, she was awarded a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in biology at Johns Hopkins University. Because of her excellence in biology and writing, she won a part-time postion with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries in 1935. While there, she created a series of radio programs on marine life. She also submtted essays on conservation and nature to magazines and newspapers. Because of her fine writing and strong academic background, Carson was appointed to a full time position as an aquatic biologist with the Bureau of Fisheries in 1936. She spent time in the Chesapeake Bay region researching and talking to fishermen. Her first book "Under the Sea-Wind" was published in 1941. It was clear from this book that Carson had the ability to present complicated, technical material in an understandable way to lay readers. In 1943 she was promoted to the position of aquatic biologist in the newly created U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where she continued to write for the public on conservation topics. In 1951, she published "The Sea Around Us," a higly popular, best selling book. The success of this second book enabled her to resign her position and devote her time to writing. Her third book, "The Edge of the Sea" was also popular with the general public. During these years, Carson was increasingly concerned about the damage done to the environment by pesticides, especially DDT. She had noticed mutations in fish and wildlife during her years at the Service. In 1962, she published "Silent Spring." It was this book that brought her concerns to the attention of the U.S. government and the public at large. The book came under attack by chemical companies, but Carson defended her position. The federal government banned the use of DDT and created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson is credited with giving birth to the environmental movement by the publication of "Silent Spring." Two years after the book's publication, Carson died of cancer. She was 57. In 1969 the Fish and Wildlife Service named a refuge near her summer home in Maine in her honor. She was also posthumously awarded the Presidental Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.