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Ronnie_influential figure draft 2

Ronnie_influential figure draft 2 - Keenan 1 Veronica...

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Keenan 1 Veronica Keenan Ms. Cabral Engl 198 a February 2, 2010 Influential Figure Second Draft Imagine a world in which human cancer rates were much higher than they are today. A world in which an abnormally large number of babies were born pre-maturely or with developmental problems, and where bird populations were dwindling worldwide. This is the shockingly unhealthy world we could be living in today if not for Rachel Carson and her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring . Through extensive research and the controversial publication of Silent Spring , she has not only uncovered the devastating effects of the pesticide DDT, but sparked a revolution in human’s awareness of our negative impacts on the world around us. Rachel Carson was born in May 1907 to a mother who instilled in her a great curiosity and love for the environment at a young age. This interest stayed with her throughout her childhood and adolescence, and she went on to major in Biology at the Pennsylvania College for Women (Lear). After graduating, Carson was accepted to Graduate School at John Hopkins University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Zoology in the year 1932. Four years after her graduation from John Hopkins University , she snagged a job at the United States Bureau of Fisheries, during which time she began publishing articles in scientific journals and magazines. These articles focused mainly on topics related to marine biology and conservation of marine ecosystems (Lear). The subject of the pesticide DDT caught Carson’s attention in the mid 1940’s when it first appeared on the market due to how eager farmers were to adopt its use and the sheer quantity that was being sprayed because of this. Carson’s editors, however, found the topic boring to read about, so she did not write very much about it until the 1950’s when other
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Keenan 2 scientists began taking notice of its possible harmful effects (Lear). It was the United State’s Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 1957 “fire ant eradication program” that finally prompted Carson to devote her time to the issue of pesticide use and environmental poisons. The fire ant program involved aerial spraying of DDT and other pesticides, which were mixed with fuel oil, in order to eradicate the fire ant population that was attacking young farm animals and ultimately interfering with agricultural productivity (Daniel 99). A branch of the USDA, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), was set on eradicating the
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