“My mission is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.”

—Jane Goodall

When Jane Goodall was just 2 years old, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee, beginning her lifelong love affair with animals. Goodall’s favorite books as a child were about animals, including “The Story of Dr. Doolittle,” “The Jungle Book,” and the Tarzan books. By the age of 10, she dreamed of going to Africa to live with animals.

When she was 23, Goodall boarded a ship that took her from her home in England to Kenya. There she met Dr. Louis Leakey, a renowned paleontologist and anthropologist. Dr. Leakey was impressed with Goodall and hired her as his assistant. She traveled with Dr. Leakey and his wife Mary Leakey to Olduvai Gorge on a fossil-hunting expedition. Though she enjoyed the expedition, it was clear to Goodall that she would prefer to study living animals.

Recognizing her unique talent, Dr. Leakey offered Goodall, who had no formal research training, the chance to study the wild chimpanzees of the Gombe Reserve in Tanganyika (now Tanzania)—a very daring adventure for a young Englishwoman. In 1960 Goodall arrived in Tanzania to begin her research at Gombe. It was very difficult for the first few months as the chimpanzees fled from Goodall in fear. She persevered, and eventually, the chimpanzees allowed her closer. She began what has become the longest field study of any animal species in their natural habitat, now carried on by other researchers. One of Goodall’s most significant discoveries was that the chimpanzees would strip leaves off of twigs to fashion tools for fishing termites from a nest. Previously, it had been believed that humans were the only species to craft tools. In fact, humans were described by anthropologists as “Man the Toolmaker.”

In 1986, Goodall’s life path took a new direction. After attending a conference of chimpanzee experts in Chicago, she became fully aware of the devastating environmental threats that, if left unchecked, could easily wipe out the entire population of wild chimpanzees. Goodall decided to give up her life in Gombe and became a tireless advocate for environmental conservation and education.

Today, Jane Goodall is one of the most recognized and celebrated female scientists in history. She travels the world more than 300 days per year, and she is widely known as an environmentalist and humanitarian. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, which now has offices in 20 countries working to promote community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa. The institute also operates a global youth environmental education program, Roots & Shoots, which has tens of thousands of members in 100 countries.

Though best known for her work with chimpanzees, Goodall is passionate about protecting all animals as well as their natural surroundings and the global environment. Among her many honors, she has been named a Dame of the British Empire (the female equivalent of a knighthood). She also has been awarded the Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence, Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Franklin Medal, the French Legion of Honor, the UNESCO Gold Medal Award, and the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Prize. She has been presented the Medal of Tanzania and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize and has twice been named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Stewardship. Pass It On!

This billboard about Stewardship features Dr. Jane Goodall.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
Tom Conroy from Massachusetts  JUNE 16, 2023
We are all animals. Let’s PROTECT & RESPECT ALL ANIMALS

Katie from march,19,2019 MARCH 19, 2019
See is awesome, in fact I am doing a essay on her in class. She is so inspirational.

I think this is very good because she is so awesome from Kenya/Tanzania MARCH 8, 2018

KOala from japan MARCH 18, 2016
I luv her book

She is very inspirational I love your work Jane.

Anonymous FEBRUARY 15, 2016
omg, she is my favorite! I love animals, and she is an inspiration to me.

Fifi from Canada NOVEMBER 17, 2015
I think she made a great difference and cares very much for animals! :)

Anonymous NOVEMBER 17, 2015
I love animals too!

Patti from Ontario, Canada OCTOBER 4, 2015
Thank you Jane Goodall, the handsome Chimpanzee & the team that created the billboard in Buffalo that drew me to your website. This billboard & all the others, as well as the amazing videos are a clear sign that world is changing...getting better and better as we all become filled with more joy & kindness towards each other and this spectacular world that we live in. Thank you with all of my heart. Keep up the great work!

Taylor from CMS SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
She's my FAVORITE! I love her and studied her many times!!!!

NULL from NULL JANUARY 28, 2015
Mother Teresa!!!


Renato from Manhattan - NY. SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
I am Dr. Jane's disciple & someone who strongly support Her mind/ideas/thoughts/comments/suggestions/soul/heart & spirit .... All I have to say is : MANY THANKS A LOT DR. JANE FOR BEING WHO YOU REALLY ARE : A BLESSED & ENLIGHTNED HUMAN BEING .... Please , take very care , b'cause , "They & we - all of us are in your hands" ....

Al Janice from Ingram.Tx.USA SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
What a wonderful picture! The look on each of their faces says so many different things and asks many questions. I found it captivating.

stevo from south american MAY 22, 2013
My children love the watcher, it is truly an awesome thing, to be able to show them this book, thanks, Olivia!

rose T from vancouver, canada JANUARY 13, 2013
Smile. =)

frances from california U.S JANUARY 13, 2013
My children love the watcher, it is truly an awesome thing, to be able to show them this book, thanks, Olivia!

Olivia.F from Dewinton AB NOVEMBER 28, 2012
If you have younger children at home, and you would like to educate them on Jane Goodall, a great book which summarizes it up very fast, look for "The Watcher", its an amazing story about Jane Goodall, and is fairly short.

Jorden A from Indianapolis, IN MARCH 22, 2012
- I love jane goodall and she really inspires me. I hope one day I can love animals and help the enviornment as much as she does. I want to work with animals when I grow up and I hope to be just as inspirational as her. Thanks Jane !

Maggie B. from WI JANUARY 4, 2012
For school I am doing a biography on her. She has such a interesting life. She is such a inspirational person to me and inspired me to be an environmentalists and make a change.

Peggy from Canada MARCH 18, 2011
I love animals too and if I could move to a forest, I would!!!

Astrid S from Berwyn, IL JANUARY 26, 2011
I am a teacher and Jane Goodall in her gentle way to oberve chimpanzees change my way to observe my class in a more scientific way Thank you!

Denise F. from Phx,Az JANUARY 20, 2011
Amazing picture

aaliyahd from columbia sc OCTOBER 7, 2010
She is a great person. She dedicated her life to study and care for the earth's most wondrous animals.

Barbara V. from Reno, Nevada MAY 24, 2010
Jane is a true we are also called to be!

Sarah T. from Lexington, SC MAY 20, 2010
I love how loving you where to all of the animals in your life!!!!!

Timothy G. from Madison (Monkey experiment capitol), WI  JANUARY 13, 2010
It is a crime, just a crime what they do to chimpanzees and other primates in the labs where they experiment on animals. Jane is a true scientist where she studies living breathing chimps in their free environment without torturing or killing them to study in sterile places with non-natural cages. What Dr. Goodall does is ethical. What those do to torture to study is not.

Christian B. from Richmond, VA SEPTEMBER 7, 2009
Stewardship is a lesson that is spreading quickly. People are learning that a little effort can go a long way and that, as humans, we have a unique responsibility to leave the world better than we found it.

Richard P. from Mapleton, IL JULY 27, 2009
I saw this on my way home from church and I thought "OOH! OOh! Jane Goodall! I know her!" Thanks for putting this in our town.

Jan S. from Spokane JULY 18, 2009
Jane, you really did a lot to form my beliefs and attitudes about our natural world. Thank you.

Gloria S. from Chile JUNE 30, 2009
I love the work you do and you have given so much and I hope now generations take god care of are planet because wee all live in it thank you sow much for how you are and the great work you do.

Stacey W. from Havertown, Pa JUNE 16, 2009
Jane Goodall was gracious enough to spend several hours with our school's Roots and Shoots chapter. She told many stories of her childhood and motivated the children to work for our planet. Jane is truly an inspiration and we all felt so blessed to meet her.

Shanying C. from Italy JUNE 15, 2009
Dr. Jane Goodall is influential for my whole life. Since the moment I knew her story, her dedication and commitment to the environment, animals and human being have inspired me in my thoughts and actions.

Erasto N. from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania JUNE 12, 2009
Back in 1992 was when I met Jane Goodall for the first time in my life and she has positively changed my life and now I know to care all living creatures and the environment!

Marsha R. from Portland, OR JUNE 11, 2009
I LOVE Jane Goodall! I so appreciate all the work that she has done to help people shift the lens through which they view animals and their needs/interests, and I applaud her work to help people, animals and the planet, as they're all connected.

Becky C. from Bay Area, California JUNE 11, 2009
We could all endure to follow the example of a sensible mind, unselfish intelligence and the kind heart of Jane Goodall...our world would be such the better for it.

April K. from Fort Worth, TX JUNE 11, 2009
Go Jane Go! I love it! I am so proud of your work. You have inspired me to make a full life change from standard food to organic and from standard products (cosmetics, etc.) to vegan (NO ANIMAL TESTING!) I love you!

Alexandria M. from New Windsor, New York JUNE 11, 2009
I think this is fabulous and a great thing to honor Dr. Jane with! Being a Roots & Shoots leader and anthropologist, I truly appreciate everything Dr. Jane has done for not only chimpanzees, but for wildlife, humankind, and the environment. She is my hero!

Lara B. from Tucson, AZ APRIL 9, 2009
I'm a Roots & Shoots leader, and am so very grateful for Jane and her life's purpose. It's brought meaning and awareness to mine and my kids' lives! We are on a life-long road through her inspiration.

Lois B. A. from Nebraska APRIL 6, 2009
Jane Goodall is truly an inspiration to me. I love how she is so dedicated to Chimpanzees, animals, and Africa. She sets such a good example to all. I will always keep her close to my heart!

Amanda G. from Barrie, ON APRIL 5, 2009
Having met Jane Goodall I think this is one of the best ways to honor the work that she has done. Way to go and great choice!

Jennifer W. from Pasadena, CA MARCH 24, 2009
Jane Goodall's roots and shoots program is inspiring! I hope we can all remind each other to take good care of our planet and help this remarkable woman create a lasting legacy!

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