Category Archives: RACHEL CARSON

Rachel Carson Birthday



The Show, of Birthday Love for Carson, Will Go On (Online)!

For more information, contact, or 240-899-9019, or, or 301-523-5394


Chevy Chase, MD – To honor the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, the mother of the modern environmental movement, the Audubon Naturalist Society is throwing her a Zoom birthday party starting at noon ET on May 27. Click here to register.

ANS has long and precious relationship with Carson who was a beloved member, former board president, and friend to many esteemed members of the organization. The celebration, hosted by ANS Executive Director Lisa Alexander, will feature women leaders and women in science reflecting on Carson’s contributions to the world and their own careers. Special invited guests include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who succeeded in getting a National Park Service panel honoring Carson established in DC’s Glover Archbold Park and her Definitive Biographer Linda Lear, a longtime ANS member.

ANS will pay homage to Rachel Carson by spotlighting women to be speakers who are persevering in her footsteps and forging their own paths. The pre-birthday celebration kicks off Memorial Day weekend with social media posts and the release of engagement tools, such as the region’s FIRST interactive map of places in the Washington, D.C. region that honor Carson or that she in some way touched, along with downloadable activities for children and families


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 About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region's iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS's nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.

Linda Lear

Areas of Expertise:

Rachel Carson biographer
Beatrix Potter biographer
Environmental History


1970s environmental history students studying under Linda Lear at George Washington University didn’t know Rachel Carson, a woman whose courage, insatiable scientific curiosity, and poetic way with words launched the modern environmental movement. “They found reading Silent Spring hard-going, which it was. So, I said, ‘We’ve got to have something for the students.’ “
Lear meant something that would make Carson’s life and work easier to digest. When the professor couldn’t find material that fit the bill, she detoured. “I started my research not knowing that I grew up (in Pittsburgh) within 50 miles of where Carson grew up in Springdale, PA. I began finding people who knew Rachel and realized I was onto something much bigger than a classroom biography,” said Lear, who is today the definitive biographer of Carson.

Over 15 years, Lear conducted 300 interviews, traveled to four states and landed at ANS where she met Shirley Briggs, Carson’s former assistant and head of the Rachel Carson Council. By winning the confidence of Carson’s editor, Paul Brooks, Lear was able to bring her research to life in 1997 when Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature was published.

“Carson’s expertise is that she’s able to take this massive amount of research and knowledge, and turn it into not just something interesting, but the most beautiful prose imaginable,” said Lear, an ANS member and Montgomery County resident, just as Carson was.

“In the process of writing Silent Spring…Carson didn’t jump at conclusions. She was sicker and sicker (with cancer) and, on some level, she knows this will be her last book. People wanted her to say all insecticides are carcinogenic. She didn’t know that,” Lear said. “(Carson) did know that humans could mess up the world pretty badly with their love of machines and their disregard for nature.”

Carson’s legacy of passion balanced by precision has changed the world, and Lear’s. “More than ever, people are recognizing this woman was quite (remarkable). She had something really important to say, and she said it fearlessly. I’ve grown as a person because of her example,” said Lear.


Schedule a visit to either of our beautiful nature sanctuaries by calling (301) 652-9188 Ext. 23 or sending an email message to