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Heritage - Rachel Carson Online Book Club, Blog Begins in March to Celebrate 100th Birthday

Rachel Carson is considered by many to be the mother of modern-day ecology. This year, to mark the 100th anniversary of Rachel Carson's birth, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service, working with the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center, will celebrate the achievements of its most notable employee by launching the Rachel Carson Online Book Club.

Beginning in March and continuing through November 2007, the online book club will focus on the life and work of Rachel Carson including her role asa female leader in science and government. Through the study of her writing, the Book Club will provide an opportunity for dialogue and discussion of current environmental issues in light of Carson's legacy

Several distinguished moderators will participate in the online discussions. Author and Carson biographer, Linda Lear will launch the first session on March 1. Among other moderators in the line-up are: marine biologist and Director of Duke Marine Laboratory, Cindy Van Dover; U.S. Fish and WildlifeService historian Mark Madison; Houghton Mifflin Executive Editor Deanne Urmy; author and professor of Environmental Studies at Middlebury College,John Elder.

"This online discussion (or blog) will be such a fabulous way to engage and bring together people from many different communities to focus on the life and legacy of Rachel Carson," said Anne Post Roy, NCTC conservation librarian. "The discussion should be incredibly interesting given the stature of some of our moderators and the depth of knowledge that they will bring to the online chat."

Each month, a moderator will start the book discussion with an opening statement. Then, in dialogue with book club participants, the moderator will provide weekly installments and add comments on the discussion throughout the month. Discussions will encompass current environmental issues like global warming, and will extend to personal attitudes toward the natural world.

Titles in the schedule range from Carson's first book, Under the Sea-Wind, in which she reveals her unique ability to present intricate scientific material in clear poetic language that captivates readers; to Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson, an anthology edited by Peter Matthiessen that will be released on April 22, Earth Day.

Silent Spring, Carson's most well known book which alerted the public to the dangers of pesticides and sparked a firestorm of controversy in its wake, will be showcased as well as some of her lesser known texts on the sea, and the truly inspirational The Sense of Wonder.

The Rachel Carson Online Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center. Participation in the online book club is open to everyone. For more information, please contact Anne Roy, National Conservation Training Center at: , or Nancy Pollot, Oregon Fish & Wildlife Office at: .

The complete list of moderators includes: Patricia DeMarco, Rachel Carson Homestead Executive Director; Thomas Dunlap, author and Professor of History; John Elder, author and professor of Environmental Studies at Middlebury College; Maril Hazlett, Independent Scholar; H. Patricia Hynes, author and Professor of Environmental Health; Jim Lynch, Northwest author; Mark Lytle, author; Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service historian; Tom Schaefer, educator and historian; Deanne Urmy, Houghton Mifflin Executive Editor; and Cindy Van Dover, marine biologist and Director of Duke Marine Laboratory.

Visit the Rachel Carson Online Book Club blog site.

For more information, visit these links:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Rachel Carson’s 100th Birthday

Rachel Carson Homestead, Springdale, PA

DEP: PA Environmental Leaders – Rachel Carson


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