Jane Goodall Jane Goodall Jane Goodall was born in London, England in 1934. This British ethnologist who is still alive today has laid claim to many great accomplishments, traveled far distances and experienced many things no woman ever has. As a young girl Jane spent her days in England studying local birds and other creatures, reading books on zoology and dreaming of one day travelling to Africa. Jane’s childish fancies were turned into reality when a close friend invited her to Kenya in 1957. Only a few months after her arrival 23 year old Jane met Dr.
Louis Leakey. Even though Jane had no academic credentials, Leakey chose her to conduct a long-term study of the chimpanzees in Tasmania’s Gombe National Park. Even though Dr. Leakey’s decision was frowned upon by many, he believed that Goodall’s patience, independence and persistence to understand animals made her a good candidate for the job. He also believed that Jane’s mind; uncluttered by academia would yield a fresh perspective. Even though her research contract was intended for the period of 10 years, critics believe she would last no longer than three weeks.
By 1962 Jane Goodall had proved them wrong when her research was advancing greatly. It was around this time that National Geographic sent photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick to document her work. The two were married in Tasmania on March 28, 1964. By 1965 Jane earned her Ph. D in ethnology, the eight person in the history of Cambridge University to earn a doctorate without first taking a B.A.
Not long after Jane returned to the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve on Lake Tanganyika, Tasmania. For nearly 10 years Jane studied chimpanzees. Her profound scientific discoveries laid the foundation for all future primate studies. Jane’s discovery that chimpanzees made and used tools amazed the world. This one ability was once believed to separate humans from animals. A gap which was closed over the years of Jane’s research as more and more similarities between humans and chimpanzees were discovered, Chimpanzees and humans differ by only just over one per cent.
I watched, amazed, as she (Lucy, a chimpanzee) opened the refrigerator and various cupboards, found bottles and a glass, then poured herself a gin and tonic . Jane recorded this experience and many other discoveries in her three books; In the Shadow of Man (1971) a book documenting the life of chimpanzees, Innocent Killers (1971) about spotted hyenas, whose predatory behavior had been wrongly researched. And also, Through a Window (1990) a book about her life and experiences living with the chimps. In 1977 Goodall founded The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation. She has also established chimpanzee sanctuaries for the care and rehabilitation of orphaned chimpanzees in four African countries. In 1995 she received the National Geographic Society’s prestigious Hubbard Medal. The National Geographic supported Jane’s research between 1961 and 1978; she was the recipient of 26 grants.
Through her best-selling books, articles, lectures, and National Geographic programs, Jane Goodall has become world famous. Today she still lives in Tasmania, where the research at Gombe is entering its 40th year. She devotes all her time and energy into teaching young people about conservation. Jane has made many accomplishments, and experienced things only some people could ever dream of. She is a great role model and has changed the way people view chimpanzees. Africa, the birth of humankind, provides a disturbing clue to our future.
As I fly across areas that were forest just years ago and see them becoming dessert, I worry. Too many people crowd this continent, so poor they strip the land for food and fuel-wood. The subject of my life’s work and our closest living relative, the chimpanzees and gorillas are slaughtered for food or captured for the live-animal trade. Pollution of air, land and water abounds. Are we destroying our beautiful planet? Jane Goodall Sociology Issues.