The Life and Work of Jane Goodall, a Scientist and Role Model

My love for animals started when I was very young. I would read anything I could about exotic animals and always dragged my parents to the zoo every chance I got. When I was younger I read articles about Jane Goodall, a secretary who had nothing to do with the science community and just went out into Africa and learned more then any researcher of her time could, She was inspirational to me and I wanted to be just like her.

Jane was raised in London and went to her friend’s farm in Kenya when she was 23 years old and worked as a secretary there, She worked for Louis Leakey, an archaeologist and paleontologist who was looking for a chimpanzee researcherr When Goodall was 25 Leakey sent her to Gombe Stream National Park becoming the first of a group called The Trimates which is three women that Leakey chose to study primates in their natural environments, After her first five years studying the chimps Louis Leakey paid for her to go to Cambridge University She became the eighth person to be allowed to study for a PhD at Cambridge without first have a bachelor degree.

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Jane achieved a PhD degree in ethology; her thesis was Behavior of the Free-Ranging Chimpanzee. Goodall’s work changed how the scientific community viewed humans similarities to primates and she has been a leading force in habitat protection and environmentalism. Since Jane had no official scientific training she observed the chimps behavior in a different way then trained scientists, which was beneficial since she saw things most scientists would have missed Instead of numbering the chimpanzees as most scientists do Jane named them.

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She observed that they all had unique and individual personalities, which was a radical idea at that time As she watched the chimpanzees she saw that they formed close affectionate bonds within their families and in their communities, They hugged, kissed, patted each other on the back, and even tickled each other, which showed they shared many more human characteristics then we originally thought. Goodall‘s research also proved to longstanding scientific ideas as false, that chimpanzees were vegetarians, and that only humans could use tools. She observed chimpanzees putting sticks in to termite mounds and pulling them out with termites clinging to the stick, they were fishing for termites They would take twigs and strip the leaves of to make it more effective In Goodall‘s research she also noticed a more aggressive side to the chimpanzees where they would hunt and eat smaller primates. They would hunt in groups and shared the food within the community Jane stayed and studied these chimps for 30 years, She formed bonds with the members and was the first and only human to ever be accepted into chimpanzee societyt She was the lowest ranking member of the troop for 22 years, She stayed with the troop until Frodo and aggressive male forced her to leave the troop when he became alpha male After Jane revealed her findings Louis Leakey said “We must now redefine man, redefine tool, or accept chimpanzees as human!” Jane established the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports the Gombe research.

There are nineteen offices and the institute is well known for community centered conservation and development programs in Africa. They have a youth program, Roots and Shoots which was started in 1991 by Jane Goodall and a group of local teenagers from Tanzania who wanted to help with the problems they had been growing up with The program is in over 100 countries now with over 10,000 groups, The program focuses mainly on positive changes through education to help the environment and to demonstrate more compassion for all animals, cultures, religions, and ethnic groups The institute has grown massively over the years and now helps so many people and animals across Africa, There is a program that helps to protect the great apes from disease and animal trafficking, as well as a program that works to protect vital parts of the chimpanzees habitat and to reforest places that have been destroyed by illegal hunting and forest loss. The institute also helps the people in Lhese communities as well.

There are programs to help improve water supplies and keep girls in schools in rural communities with low socio—economic prospects as well as programs that teach farming techniques to locals and help to meet basic needs for food and other resources The Jane Goodall Institution has touched the communities across East Africa and the Congo Basin as well as being a driving force in forest conservation and the conservation of the great apes and primates. Jane Goodall is an inspiration to every child who wants to work in the science field. She has dedicated her entire life to the environment and to the conservation of chimpanzees She revolutionized the way scientists see primates and their relationship to humans. She has received nearly 50 honorary degrees and became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2002. She spent her life working towards the bettering of chimpanzee conditions around the world, She worked off the philosophy of seeing the bigger picture. She didn’t care who got credit for things as long as they were done and always tried to do things quietly first as opposed to a big public scene, While she was working toward conservation she also continued her research on the relationships within chimp communities as well as raised a family and married twice. She is an inspirational woman who has led an inspirational life with a drive that all of us should try to emulate.

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The Life and Work of Jane Goodall, a Scientist and Role Model. (2022, Jul 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-life-and-work-of-jane-goodall-a-scientist-and-role-model-essay

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