Fall 2010 Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Visiting Professor: Jane Goodall
Release date: October 13, 2010
Jane Goodall—the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees and Goucher College's Fall 2010 Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Visiting Professor—will give a lecture titled "Gombe and Beyond: The Next 50 Years" on Wednesday, October 13, at 8 p.m. in Kraushaar Auditorium. A book signing will follow the lecture.
Due to high demand, no more tickets are available for this event.
Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzees in what is now Tanzania in July 1960, under the mentorship of famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. Her work at what was then called the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals.
One of her most significant discoveries came in her first year at Gombe, when she saw chimps stripping leaves off stems to make the stems useful for fishing termites out of nearby mounds. This and subsequent observations would force scientists to rethink the notion that humankind's use of tools separated them from other animals.
Goodall established the Gombe Stream Research Center in 1965. Under the stewardship of Tanzanian field staff and other researchers, the center continues her work today, making the Gombe research one of the longest uninterrupted studies of animals in the wild.
In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports the Gombe research, as well as conservation and development programs in Africa. These programs include community-centered conservation efforts that provide local people with tools to build sustainable livelihoods while promoting regional conservation goals such as reforestation. In addition, the institute's global environmental and humanitarian program, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, engages students from preschool through university in projects that benefit people, animals, and the environment. Today, Roots and Shoots has nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries.
Goodall has been a visiting professor at Stanford University (1971-75), Tufts University (1987-88), the University of Southern California (1990), and Cornell University (1996-2002), and she has held a position at Tanzania's University of Dar es Salaam since 1973. She is the author of several books, including In the Shadow of Man; My Life with the Chimpanzees; and her best-selling autobiography, Reason for Hope.
Goodall travels an average 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth. She continually urges her audiences to recognize their personal responsibility and ability to effect change through consumer action, lifestyle choice, and advocacy.
Goodall's honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence. In April 2002, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Goodall to serve as a United Nations "Messenger of Peace." In 2004, Prince Charles invested her as a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood. In 2006, she received the French Legion of Honor and the UNESCO Gold Medal.
The Jane and Robert Meyerhoff Visiting Professorship was created to bring distinguished scholars, teachers, and practitioners to Goucher's campus to advance local and national dialogues on pressing issues of our time. Previous speakers have included staunch preservation advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; Thomas L. Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and world-renowned author; and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, the Kenyan environmental and political activist who, in 2004, became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
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