Dr. Jane Goodall Shared Her Mother's Wisdom With UNT Students

The scene is a child's bedroom in London. The year is 1935. George VI is on the throne and World War II has yet to devastate Europe. Margaret Myfanwe Joseph comes to check on her 18-month-old daughter. She's in for quite a shock when she sees her. Young Jane sits in her bed with a writhing mass of Earthworms in her tiny hand.
"I had an amazing Mother." said Dr. Jane Goodall as she stood on stage at the UNT coliseum "Instead of getting angry - how dare you dirty your bed with all this earth and wriggling worms-she just said very quietly 'Jane, they'll die if you leave them here.' So we took them back into the garden." 

Dr. Jane Goodall is popularly known as the world's leading expert on the subject of Chimpanzees. She is a celebrated primatologist/anthropologist known for founding the Jane Goodall Institute, the Roots & Shoots conservation program and for her decades long contributions to environmental activism.  

At the UNT coliseum Dr. Goodall discussed her life and career as well as a showcase of a remarkable personality that has made her a distinct figure in wildlife study and conservation. Her love of animals came from a number of sources, but the origin of her dream to journey to Africa began in a secondhand copy of Tarzan Lord of the Apes. 

"Well of course I fell passionately in love with this glorious Lord of the Jungle." She said "And what did he do? He married the wrong Jane!" 

UNT was another stop on a very long journey for Dr. Goodall. Since the 1980s she has been on a nearly constant tour, traveling 300 days a year. She has visited 22 countries educating people on the natural world, the importance of protecting the environment and encouraging the next generation of scientists.  

"They'd say something like 'Jane would you forget this nonsense about Africa?' But not my Mother." Said Dr. Goodall "She said 'If you really want to do this crazy thing you're going to have to work really hard and take advantage of opportunity but don't give up. And that's the message I've shared with young people all around the world particularly those in disadvantaged communities, particularly girls. And it's been amazing to me how many people have come up to me and said, 'Jane I want to thank you because you taught me that because you did it I could do it too.' And I wish Mum was alive to know how the advice she gave to me has reverberated around the world probably changed many lives just as it changed mine." 

For more information on Dr. Goodall and how to get involved in wildlife conservation visit janegoodall.org.

Photos by Tyler Murphy
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados