Rachel graduated in
1932 from Johns Hopkins, and then she began to work for the U.S.
Bureau of Fisheries. Her
boss took a great risk in hiring a woman scientist, but was quite pleased
with her work. She had a gift for writing and combined this with her
scientific knowledge. He even
told her some writings were too good for government publication. He recommended that she submit the paper to the Atlantic Monthly.
She mumbled her thanks and threw that manuscript in a drawer thinking it
wasn’t good enough.
While the war effort kept her busy, and the financial rewards of the first book weren’t great, she still wanted to write another. This time it would be a book about the ocean and its various creatures. As the book took form, the publishers realized that the chapters would make excellent magazine articles. However, these articles were turned down by the Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic and several other magazines. Finally in 1951, The New Yorker published some of her articles, which eventually became about half of the book (The Sea Around Us). Soon after the book came out, the publisher had to go back to press and print more! Such popularity helped gain recognition for her first book. Eventually, both books were on the best-seller list.
Other books followed, including Help Your Child to Wonder (1956), and Our Ever-Changing Shore (1957). In all her writings, Rachel incorporated her view that humans were only part of the ecosystems they inhabited, yet had the greatest power to damage those ecosystems.