As a 25-year-old in 1960, she had traveled from England to Tanzania and bravely entered the little known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and pair of binoculars. But with her rare degree of patience, and fortified by characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives. The public was fascinated and remains to to this day. Today, Jane’s work revolves around mobilizing action on behalf of not only chimpanzees, but for all animals, people and the environment. Jane travels an average of 300 days per year speaking in packed auditoriums and school gymnasiums about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that we will ultimately solve the problems that we have imposed on the earth. Jane continually urges her audiences to recognize their own personal power and responsibility to effect positive change through consumer action, lifestyle change and activism. This year is especially important for Jane as she celebrates the 50th anniversary of her research project in Gombe Stream Reserve. This study of animals in the wild if the longest running project of its kind!
Known for: Study of chimpanzees, conservation, animal welfare