Office of Public Affairs

USM To Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Publication of “Silent Spring”

The University of Southern Maine Department of Environmental Science is hosting a series of public events this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s ground-breaking book, “The Silent Spring.” The book is credited with launching the environmental movement.

The events also will celebrate Carson’s strong ties to Maine and her impact on contemporary society.

For more information, see “Rachel Carson: A Life in Perspective” or call 207-228-8450.

The first talk, “Rachel Carson in My Life: Memories and Meaning,” by USM’s Martha Freeman, will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday April 16, in the Wishcamper Center, Portland. Freeman is the author of the book, “Always Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964.” The book presents a collection of letters exchanged between Carson and her Maine summer neighbour, Dorothy Freeman, who was Martha Freeman’s grandmother. This event is free and open to the public.

A free panel discussion highlighting the influence of Rachel Carson on the lives of Maine’s current women environmental leaders will take place at 5 p.m., Thursday, April 19, in USM’s Hannaford Lecture Hall, Portland.

Panelists include: Pattie Aho, commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection; Michele Dionne, research director, Wells National Estuarine Preserve; Melissa Welsh Innes, Maine State Representative (D-N. Yarmouth); Lisa Pohlmann, executive director, Natural Resources Council of Maine; and Amanda Sears, associate director, Environmental Health Strategy Center. USM alumna Kate Cheney Chappell '83, co-founder of Tom’s of Maine, also will speak and share a DVD she has produced regarding her art and connection to Rachel Carson.

The film, “A Sense of Wonder,” in which an actress depicts  Carson recounting - with humor and anger - the challenge of getting her message to Congress and the public, will be shown at the following times:  Monday, April 16, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Lee Hall, Wishcamper Center, Portland;
Tuesday, April 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Brooks Faculty Dining, Gorham; and 
Thursday, April 19, 1:00-2:30 p.m., Room 287, Lewiston-Auburn College, Westminster Street, Lewiston.