Arlington, Virginia—April in Washington, D.C., brought a shower of awards to world-renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and UN Messenger of Peace.
On April 30, the NEA Foundation presented Dr. Goodall with its Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education for her global environmental and humanitarian youth program, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. The award was presented at the foundation’s “Salute to Excellence in Education” gala at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. While Dr. Goodall was unable to attend the event, which was rescheduled due to the historic February snowstorms, JGI President Maureen P. Smith accepted the honor in her stead.
In prerecorded remarks, Dr. Goodall said, “I am so honored to have been selected to receive this award from such a prestigious organization. In accepting this award I want to pay tribute to all the educators around the globe who are helping our Roots & Shoots staff empower young people to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment we all share. Educators play such an important role in the development of our Roots & Shoots program. I would not be getting this award without them.”
Earlier in the month, Dr. Goodall also received the first-ever Atlas Award from the Association of American Geographers (AAG). The award was presented to Dr. Goodall by AAG Executive Director Dr. Douglas B. Richardson on April 16 before a crowd of nearly 3,000 assembled geographers and other attendees from around the world at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“The Atlas Award is designed to recognize and celebrate outstanding accomplishments that advance world understanding in exceptional ways,” said Dr. Richardson. “The image of Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders is a powerful metaphor for this award program, as the nominees are those who have taken the weight of the world on their shoulders and moved it forward, whether in science, politics, scholarship, the arts, or in war and peace. Jane Goodall truly embodies the ideals and goals of the AAG Atlas Award, and we are delighted that she will inaugurate this new award from the Association of American Geographers.”
After her remarks, Dr. Goodall was presented with a cash prize as well as a specially procured Atlas statuette, a compelling keepsake and an inspiring symbol for the award program itself. The Atlas statue also conveys the international nature of this award clearly and graphically. The AAG also made Dr. Goodall an honorary member for life.
Dr. Goodall’s receipt of these two prestigious honors coincides with a monumental milestone. Fifty years ago, she first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. The chimpanzee behavioral research Dr. Goodall pioneered there has produced a wealth of scientific discovery, and her vision has expanded into a global mission to empower people to make a difference for all living things.
About the Jane Goodall Institute
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program, which has groups in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org
About Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With tens of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe. For more information, please visit www.rootsandshoots.org
About the NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is an independent, public charity created in 1969 and sustained by contributions from educators, corporate sponsors, and other supporters of public education. The Foundation offers grants and programs that support educators’ efforts to close the achievement gaps, increase classroom innovations, salute excellence in education, and provide professional development. For more information, visit www.neafoundation.org
About the Association of American Geographers (AAG)
AAG is the professional association representing leading practitioners, researchers, and educators in geography. Founded in 1904 as an educational and scientific society, its more than 10,000 members share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography and geographic education.