WONDER AND HUMILITY *
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was always enamored with the natural world. Bucking the norm, she abandoned an English degree to eventually earn a Master’s degree in Zoology.
Hired to write, Carson went on to become the Editor-in-Chief for all the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientific publications. On the side, Carson used knowledge gained on the job to write lyrical descriptions of sea life. Her books about the ocean made Carson famous and wooed a public enthralled with laboratory sciences back to the wonders of their native land. She challenged readers to engage with the world with “wonder and humility,” believing that if we did, we would be less likely to try to dominate nature.
Carson’s final book, Silent Spring, explained the dangers and consequences of widespread commercial pesticide use to ecosystems and humans. This book is credited with galvanizing the public and launching the environmental movement that led to the US ban of DDT, despite the chemical industry’s attempts to discredit Carson’s science and conclusions.
Rachel Carson died of breast cancer two years after Silent Spring was published, leaving a philosophical legacy that humans are part of the ecosystem and must learn to live productively in balance with nature.
CALL TO ACTION
Consider supporting any organization that demands rigorous standards of itself and its partners as they work to find a collaborative and productive balance between the needs of humans and the needs of the environment. The Conservation Fund is one such organization. www.conservationfund.org
Vivien approaches art from multiple perspectives, including as a creator and educator. Creatively, Vivien is a writer, artist, and photographer whose work has been published and exhibited nationally. Her visual art is characterized by clean, color-saturated compositions. She has a particular fondness for nature photography, but her textile work addresses whatever is front of mind. Vivien’s docent work requires that she lead dialogue-based tours for museum guests. As docent trainer, Vivien supports the curatorial staff by conducting research, and preparing and presenting educational material to the docent corps. www.vivienzepf.com