When Dr. Jane Goodall embarked on her first trip from London to East Africa in 1957, little knowledge concerning the nature of chimpanzees existed.
Nearly 60 years since her initial voyage, she now makes her way to Texas A&M University-Kingsville with an appearance Tuesday, March 29, at Jones Auditorium as part of her promotional lecture tour “Where’s Jane?”
The event is set for 7-8 p.m., and is free to the students and public. Goodall’s visit is part of the University Lectureship Series. Goodall will present “Gombe & Beyond,” a speech aimed at providing the audience insight into the world of the Gombe chimpanzees, her earliest experiences and observations with the animals, as well as the latest news from field studies conducted in Africa.
Having studied chimpanzees since the age of 26, Goodall has acknowledged in interviews that she left her native English shores as nothing more than a naïve young women seeking adventure with only pencil and pad in hand.
Today, Goodall is recognized as one of the most revered primatologists in the world as her excursions, including many documented trips to present day Tanzania, would show first-hand that chimpanzees are more humanlike in their characteristics than anyone could have foreseen.
With the same poise and unrelenting care that granted her access into the world of the shy creatures, Goodall spends much of her time (nearly 300 days of the year) traveling the world speaking to audiences about the very real threats facing not only the chimpanzees, but the environmental crises we as humans face every day.
Having formed the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, it has become Goodall’s mission to provide vessels of hope to all mankind so that the problems it has exposed to the earth can addressed.
In 1991, Goodall expanded her philanthropic efforts by beginning the Roots & Shoots organization, which is aimed at connecting hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 130 countries, in an effort to make the world a better place for all forms of life.
Doors are scheduled to open at 6:30 p.m., with seating available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring old cell phones to the event for recycling on behalf of the Jane Goodall Institute’s efforts to promote conservation of critical chimpanzee habitats.
Follow Raul Altamirano on Twitter: @raulsotx