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- Sushma Anand
Secretary general Kofi Annan has appointed Jane Goodall, the renowned primatologist and environmentalist, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, honoring her for belief and dedication to sustainable development and conservation. In recognition of her contribution to the advancement of research, education and advocacy on environmental issues, the Secretary General has given her a plaque containing a citation praising the scientist for her relentless efforts in fostering human rights and the liberation of the human spirit.
Dr. Goodall started her career in environmental studies in 1960 when she landed at Lake Tanganyika in East Africa to study the area's chimpanzee population, a rare venture by a woman at that time. This longest running uninterrupted wildlife studies have made Dr. Goodall the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees. Her observations and discoveries have been internationally acclaimed.
Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934 in London, England. Her early years were spent at Bournemouth on the southern coast of England. She received a beautiful, life-like toy chimpanzee named Jubilee as a gift from her father on her second birthday. Contrary to relatives apprehensions of being frightened, Jane loved the toy, and to this day she fondly cherishes the toy her home in England. Perhaps that was an indication of the things to come in her life.
First time she went to Kenya in1957 to meet a high school friend, once there in order to realize her dream of studying wild life, she contacted Louis Leakey, a prominent anthropologist working at a Kenyan museum who encouraged her to study primates. In 1960 she began her research on Chimpanzees at Gombe and earned Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1965. She continued her studies until 1975. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide ongoing support for field research on wild chimpanzees.
In her studies Goodall found chimpanzees to be highly intelligent, emotional creatures living in complex social groups. Her work shattered two long-standing myths: 1) the idea that only humans could make and use tools, 2) and the belief that chimps were passive vegetarians.
Dr.Goodall has written many books on the behavior of primates including the famous Chimps, So Like Us, The Gombe Chimpanzees, Chimpanzee Diary, Among the Wild Chimpanzees and the most recent Reason For Hope. In her words, "Chimpanzees have given me so much. The long hours spent with them in the forest have enriched my life beyond measure. What I have learned from them has shaped my understanding of human behavior, of our place in nature." Dr. Jane Goodall exemplifies the power of the individual to make a difference. She has received innumerable international awards for her research and devotion:
Franklin Burr Award for Contribution to Science, National Geographic Society
Stott Science Award, Cambridge University
Gold Medal for Conservation from the San Diego Zoological Society
Conservation Award from the Women's Branch of the New York Zoological Society
Brad Washburn Award from the Boston museum of Science (with Hugo van Lawick)
Order of the Golden Ark - World Wildlife Award for Conservation by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize
Living Legacy Award from the International Women's League, San Diego, California The Albert Schweitzer Award of the Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, D.C.
National Alliance for Animals Award
E. Mendel Medaille from the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, Halle, Germany
American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award
Centennial Award, National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
Joseph Krutch Award, the Humane Society of the United States
Award for Humane Excellence, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Encyclopaedia Britannica Award for Excellence on the Dissemination of Learning for the Benefit of Mankind
Anthropologist of the Year Award
The AMES Award (Anthropologists in the Media) of the American Anthropologist Association
Whooping Crane Conservation Award from Conoco Inc.
Gold Medal of the Society of Women Geographers
Washoe Award, presented by the Friends of Washoe
The Kyoto Prize in Basic Science (the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize)
The Edinburgh Medal
Chester Zoo Diamond Jubilee Medal
CBE, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The National Geographic Society Hubbard Medal for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research, presented by Vice-President Al Gore
Lifetime Achievement Award, In Defense of Animals
The Moody Gardens Environmental Award
Appointed Honorary Warden of Uganda National Parks
The Zoological Society of London's Silver Medal
The Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Medal for contribution to wildlife conservation, presented by President Mwinyi
The Primate Society of Great Britain Conservation Award
The Caring Institute Award
The Polar Bear Award, given by the National Alliance for Animals
William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement, awarded by Sigma Xi
Woman of the Year 1996
John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
David S. Ingells, Jr. Award for Excellence
Common Wealth Award for Public Service
The Chicago Field Museum's Award of Merit
Disney's Animal Kindgom Eco Hero Award
National Science Board Public Service Award
John Hay Award, given by the Orion Society
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