Many people know Dr. Jane Goodall as the “chimpanzee lady” who stole our hearts in the early 1960’s as National Geographic’s star of the forest. What people may not know is that after Jane completed her doctorate degree at Cambridge University, and founded the Gombe Stream Research Center (GSRC) in Tanzania, home to the longest scientific study of any single animal species, Jane started teaching students as a visiting college professor.
In the early 1970’s Jane began teaching at Stanford University, sharing her love of research and data analysis with bright young minds interested in the biological sciences. During her time at Stanford she brought many students into the world of the Gombe chimpanzees, to learn, study and collect vital data, helping to continue research efforts at the Center.
One of those passionate students was Nancy Merrick, who was then a 19 year old Stanford student taking Jane's human biology class and fell in love with chimpanzees. Nancy went on to become a successful medical doctor, but never lost her love of chimpanzees and the natural world. In Merrick’s latest book, “Among Chimpanzees: Field Notes from the Race to Save Our Endangered Relatives”, she reveals the startling facts on how chimpanzee populations are disappearing and what we must do to save our closest living relatives.
In 2012, the Jane Goodall Institute took on an ambitious 30-year goal of protecting 85 percent of Africa’s wild chimpanzee populations and their habitats. The institute’s work with cutting edge technology like GIS mapping is helping to save wild chimpanzees from extinction. You can see more of what we do by watching our latest video
with Google Earth Outreach.
Along with technology, JGI works with local communities surrounding chimpanzee habitat through TACARE, a community-centered conservation approach to alleviate poverty and provide people with basic needs to live a happy and healthy life. In order to be successful in our efforts we realize that educating our leaders of tomorrow is vastly important. That is why in 1991 Dr. Goodall started the institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, Roots & Shoots
, which has now grown to hundreds of thousands of members in more than 130 countries worldwide.
In Dr. Goodall’s own words, she shares why Nancy’s book is so important in helping to educate all people of the threats facing chimpanzees and why we must join together to help save them and our world:
“In this delightful and insightful book, Nancy shares the stories of people who have made enormous differences in the lives of chimpanzees, often sacrificing comfort and risking health and even their own lives - people who understand that it is up to us to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
to learn more about Nancy Merrick's new book, “Among Chimpanzees: Field Notes from the Race to Save Our Endangered Relatives".