As a trailblazer in animal behavior research, Dr. Jane Goodall’s pioneering studies on the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania, offer a remarkable window into the lives of our closest living relatives and redefined our relationship to the rest of the animal kingdom. Her research birthed what is now the Guinness World Records longest continuous study of chimpanzees, continued by the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI).
Wasatch Academy students had an opportunity to listen and talk directly with Jane. During her talk at the University of Utah, Jane shared her insights on the importance of protecting species and the natural world, while encouraging every individual to do their part to make a difference every single day. Jane discussed with students the JGI’s innovative community-centered conservation work in Africa and the Roots & Shoots global youth program. She reflected on why, despite the challenges of today, she continues to have a reason for hope about the future of wildlife, people, and the environment we all share.
Prior to the presentation, alumnus and trustee Forrest Cuch ’69 presented Jane with a peace pipe and a Chief Joseph trade blanket on behalf of the Pax Natura Foundation. Pax Natura Foundation works to promote and protect the ecological health and well being of the natural world through a diverse set of initiatives such as agro-ecology, avoided deforestation carbon credits (REDD), renewable-energy development, biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, exposing the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and by joining in partnerships with other conservation organizations.
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, has been a conservation leader and a champion for non-human animals, human rights, and environmental protection for decades. She spends 300 days a year traveling all around the world inspiring people to make compassionate decisions and take action to build a better world for all. She believes everyone has a role to play and can make a difference. Dr. Goodall was made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) in 2004 during a ceremony at the Buckingham Palace in London, and in 2006 she received the French Legion of Honor, presented by the Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, as well as the UNESCO Gold Medal Award. The National Geographic biographical film about Dr. Goodall, titled Jane, had its world premier at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and has received rave reviews and won over 20 awards.