Happy Birthday, Jane Goodall!

Happy Birthday, Jane Goodall! On April 3rd, 2024, the famous primatologist (someone who studies primates like monkeys and apes) turns 90 years old. Best known for her work studying and living with chimpanzees in Tanzania for most of her life, Goodall changed the way many people think about these amazing animals, including how to protect them and their environment.

She spent years in Africa watching and documenting everything about them, especially their behaviors and communities. She even gave them names like Goliath and David Greybeard to match their personalities – something many other scientists refuse to do! Her research helped prove that chimpanzees are much more like humans than we had thought, from their DNA and genes to the way they act in their social group.

Goodall is also an activist, still working hard today to protect the environment so that primates (and all animals) have a safe place to live, speaking out against animal testing and cruelty. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, a non-profit that works to help primates by helping the public learn more about them as well as protecting their habitats from things like climate change and human development.

Her living legacy is an inspiration to us all to find our passion, stand up for nature and protect the environment. Here are some great books to get you inspired!

Learning to Be Wild: Are humans the only animals on Earth with culture – the ability to learn from each other and pass along certain behaviors socially? This young reader’s edition exploring the social lives of chimpanzees, macaws and sperm whales suggests that humans aren’t the only ones in the natural world to develop rich cultures.

You Are A Star, Jane Goodall: If you're wondering what it's like to be Jane Goodall, this fun book uses first-person narration, comics, quotes and more to put you right into her shoes. Follow as she goes from trying to gain chimpanzee's trust in Africa for the first time to opening her research institute.

Born Curious: Goodall is in good company in this book - meet 19 other women scientists, mathematicians and engineers who refused to accept the way things were always done and changed the way we understand the world as a result.

Breaking the Mold: Meet a cave explorer turned science writer, a disabled vulcanologist who spends time near active volcanoes, an Indigenous Hawaiian surfer who studies the microbiomes of other surfers' skin and more in this anthology featuring sixteen of the diverse people challenging the stereotype of what it looks like to be a climate scientist.

Let us know your favorite book about protecting animals and the environment.