Jane Goodall will visit BC on April 1

Sharida Rejon, Features Editor

Jane Goodall, a famous primatologist and anthropologist whose work is considered revolutionary by many in the science field, will be speaking at Bakersfield College on April 1.
Krista Moreland, an anthropology professor at BC, pursued the possibility of bringing Goodall for a lecture on campus for an extended amount of time until she finally got the confirmation.
“We got really lucky because she is a very busy woman and she travels all over the world. She tours about 300 days a year,” said Moreland. “We got lucky that they were able to fit us into her schedule after a lot of months of waiting.”
Moreland’s primary motivation to bring Goodall to Bakersfield is to send a positive message to students and attendees.
“We get very few big-name people like Jane Goodall coming to Bakersfield, so I wanted to bring someone here as motivation and inspiration,” Moreland said. “Her big dream when she was a little girl was to go to Africa and see wild animals in their habitat, and she made that happen, but it wasn’t easy for her. She had to work hard, be very persistent and stay focused to make her dream come true.
“So it’s a good inspiration for students to see that if you have a dream and have something that you want to accomplish, you can, but it takes persistence, work, dedication, and a lot of patience.”
BC students have expressed excitement over the upcoming event. Jason Glenn, a forensic anthropology major, was ecstatic when he was notified about the lecture. “When I found out, I actually couldn’t move,” he said. “I was so shocked because she literally pioneered the field. She is a multi-facet scientist, in general. It’s amazing.”
Adilene Estrada, an anthropology major, is also looking forward to the event.
“I’m excited because this is a person who cares so much about something that she was willing to give up part of herself to learn about a different culture,” Estrada said. “She cares about the world and there’s something that she would always tell kids: ‘you can live your dream, you just have to work hard at it. You should never give up hope, because without hope, there’s no life.’
“That’s why I’m excited because she is a person who went through a lot of challenges and took a lot of hits, but no matter what, she was still happy, she was still smiling, she was still herself.”
Goodall, whose groundbreaking work was accomplished in the ’60s, was one of eight people to get a PhD from Cambridge University without an undergraduate degree.
“Her work with primates really changed how we do science and it changed how we view animals because she was able to record everything,” Moreland said.
“By learning this information on these animals, she was really able to understand animal behavior itself to help us understand ourselves and our relationship with the world,” she said. “Her work really opened the world into a whole new avenue of study.”
Aside from her work and studies about primate behavior, Goodall’s mission has extended to spreading a message of hope to the world though her “Roots & Shoots” program.
“The goal is to get people involved in their community,” said Moreland. “That’s really her big push. She’s more than just someone who says ‘here are some issues and some problems,’ she is somebody who says ‘here are some solutions and ways we can work toward solving our problems,’ and that’s very different.
“That’s her big message of hope – that she is very hopeful that we all have the ability to make ourselves better people and to make our communities a better place. That’s what she’s all about.”
The lecture will take place in BC’s gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Goodall’s new book, which releases on April 1, will also be available at the event. A book signing will follow the speech. There are 2,500 tickets available for the event, which are being sold through the business services window at BC.