Dr. Jane Goodall, world-renowned chimpanzee researcher and conservationist, will present her speech, “A Reason for Hope,” in the Moby Arena at 7:30 tonight.
She is expected to speak on her life and work as well as “the power each one of us has to make a difference every moment of every day,” according to a statement.
“Colorado State is really honored to have Jane Goodall as a Monfort Speaker,” said Jennifer Dimus, manager of media and community relations for CSU. “Students as well as the surrounding community will be inspired by Dr. Goodall’s message.”
On her Web site, Goodall identifies four reasons to hope for Africa: the human brain, the determination of young people, the indomitable human spirit, and the resilience of nature.
“It is easy to be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness as we look around the world,” Goodall wrote on janegoodall.org. “Is there, in fact, hope for Africa’s future? Yes.”
The lecture is funded by the Monfort Family Foundation, which has gifted a total of more than $12.5 million to CSU.
“(The Monfort Foundation) is a family directed, charitable organization established in 1970 by Warren and Edith Montfort,” said Twila Kindsfather, assistant controller for the Montfort Family Foundation. “It’s a non-profit foundation that primarily gives to Larimer County.”
The Monfort Lecture series features speakers of international distinction and has included such speakers as Ernesto Zedillo in 2006, Mikhail Gorbachev in 2005, and Madeleine Albright in 2004.
Goodall was 26 years old when she began her research on the chimpanzees of Tanzania in East Africa in 1960. Though it was unheard of for a woman to trek so far into the African wilderness, it was only five months later that she made her most important discovery.
She observed two chimps using stripped twigs as tools for getting termites out of a nest.
Until that time, it was thought the only thing separating humanity from the animals was our ability to make and use tools. Goodall’s discovery forced a reexamination of what it meant to be human.
“Now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans,” said Goodall’s mentor, anthropologist Louis Leakey, when the discovery was made.
Before her first year was over, Goodall made a second discovery when she saw chimpanzees hunting and eating bushpigs and other animals. This discovery disproved the idea that chimps were primarily herbivores.
A third discovery was made in 1974 when she witnessed chimpanzees involved in primitive warfare.
For four years she watched the Kasakela group of chimps brutally annihilate members of the “Kahama” splinter group.
Goodall was unique in her field because of her habit of naming her subjects and observing their various personalities.
In 1977, Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute. The institute’s mission is “to advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment of all living things,” according to janegoodall.org. It has become a leader in protecting chimpanzees and their habitats.
The Roots&Shoots youth program, a part of the Jane Goodall Institute, seeks to get young people involved in serving animals, the environment and the community. During her stay in Fort Collins, Goodall will visit CSU’s Roots&Shoots chapter.
Goodall has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including being named a “Messenger of Peace” by Secretary-General Annan in 2002 and being made a dame of the British Empire (the equivalent of knighthood) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.
She has written nine books for children and 15 for adults and will follow her speech with a book signing.
Tickets for Goodall’s lecture are no longer available, but available seats may open when the lecture begins.
“It’s a great opportunity for the school, particularly for science majors and people who want to work with animals,” said Elani Davidson, sophomore zoology major. “I’m definitely going to try to go and hear her speak.”
Staff writer James Holt can be reached at email@example.com.
Goodall’s reasons for hope for Africa:
– The human brain
– The determination of young people
– The indomitable human spirit
– The resilience of nature
Goodall’s major discoveries:
– Chimps using tools – 1960
– Chimps hunting other animals -1960
– Chimp warfare – 1974
– Chimp adoption – 1987