PROFILE: Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall’s path-breaking African field studies of chimpanzee social behavior forever changed the way we view our closest evolutionary relatives. By causing her readers to empathize with the wild chimpanzees she got to know on an almost personal basis, Dr. Goodall provided a compelling moral argument for allowing these intelligent primates to flourish in their natural habitats.
Among her many other conservation activities, Dr. Goodall has created an organization called Roots & Shoots. Roots & Shoots is a symbolic name. “Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation,” Dr. Goodall says. “Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light, they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds of thousands of roots and shoots, hundreds of thousands of young people around the world, can break through these walls. You can change the world.” Today, as members of Roots & Shoots, thousands of children in more than forty-eight countries are planting trees, protecting species, and otherwise working to improve the environment.
This is an excerpt from THE BIODIVERSITY CRISIS: LOSING WHAT COUNTS, edited by Michael J. Novacek, a publication of the New Press. © 2000 American Museum of Natural History. To order the book, call 1-800-233-4830, or go tohttp://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/buybook/
More About This Resource...
This online article, from The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing What Counts, profiles the conservation efforts of a legendary scientist. It takes a quick look at:
- Jane Goodall's revolutionary studies of chimpanzee behavior and her efforts to protect the primates in their natural habitat.
- Her conservation efforts with Roots & Shoots, an organization she created for young people around the world.
Supplement a study of ecology or biodiversity with an activity drawn from this essay about Jane Goodall.
- Ask students what they know about the life and work of Jane Goodall.
- Send students to this online article, or print copies of the essay for them to read.
- Have them write a one-page reaction to the article, focusing on her work with Roots & Shoots.