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Released April 19, 2004


By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - The same nurturing she received from her mother is what Dr. Jane Goodall hopes to impart through Roots and Shoots, a program sponsored by her institute. Goodall, famous for her work with chimpanzees in Africa, was on The University of Southern Mississippi campus Wednesday where she discussed her life's work with students, faculty and staff.

Hattiesburg was among her stops on a months-long North American tour to promote the work of her institute, including Roots and Shoots, which helps youth organize to learn about their communities and plan and implement projects to promote care and concern for people, animals and the environment.

Goodall said she has seen the transformation of youth involved in Roots and Shoots who before felt disconnected to their community and hopeless. "I've seen the change," she said. "They feel they belong."

An ardent environmentalist, Goodall encouraged her audience to do their part to help preserve nature and promote peace in the world, starting in their own communities. "We haven't been good stewards (of the Earth)," Goodall said, remarking that she feels "ashamed" when witnessing the effects of the harm done both to the environment and to animals and humans.

She also noted that environmental changes have threatened the very chimpanzees that she has focused much of her research by reducing their population from more than 2 million 100 years ago to about 200,000 today.

Despite these threats to the planet and its inhabitants, both human and animal, Goodall maintains that the strength of what she described as the indomitable human spirit keeps hope alive for positive change. She noted that some areas across the globe that were once polluted are now thriving and accessible due to conservasionist efforts, and that changing attitudes in the political arena have led world leaders to reconsider commercial development in favor of environmental preservation

.Goodall credited her own mother for encouraging an early interest in animal life and never giving up hope that she could achieve whatever she wanted through personal perseverance. In the same way her mother gave her hope to find the answers to her questions about the world around her, the Roots and Shoots program gives Goodall the optimism that a new generation will learn to become good stewards of a world for which she cares so deeply."This (Roots and Shoots) is what's giving me hope for the future," she said.Goodall was accompanied by Jeanne McCarty, a Southern Miss graduate who serves as vice-president and director for the Roots and Shoots program.

McCarty said there are 20 Roots and Shoots groups in Mississippi, including several at Hattiesburg High School. Earlier in the day, Goodall and McCarty visited HHS, where they observed a pilot-tested curriculum supported by the Goodall Institute known as "Lessons for Hope," which is funded in part by a grant from BellSouth.

Lessons for Hope is a Web-based project written by the Jane Goodall Institute that enables high school students to learn about Goodall's work and her optimism and hope for the future. As part of this program, students learn about the ways that Goodall has sustained herself throughout her 40 years of researching chimpanzees, as well as promoting care and concern for all living things. Course activities give students an opportunity to apply Goodall's principles to make a positive contribution in their world.

"Mississippi is such a nurturing community," said McCarty, a Hattiesburg native and HHS graduate. "Many of the values - such as compassion and commitment to community - are intrinsic to Mississippi."

Raised in Bournemouth, England, Goodall worked in Africa for the British-Kenyan Louis S. B. Leakey, at whose suggestion she set up camp in 1960 in the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve on Lake Tanganyika. For about 10 years, Goodall studied the rarely observed lives of chimpanzees, discovering such behavior patterns as their ability to use twigs for extracting termites from nests. She chronicled her observations and work about chimpanzees in 1971 in her popular book, In the Shadow of Man. In 1977, Goodall founded The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation. She has established chimpanzee sanctuaries for the care and rehabilitation of orphaned chimpanzees in four African countries. In 1995 she was awarded the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal and has been named one of nine Messengers for Peace by the United Nations.


OCEAN SPRINGS -- Award-winning wildlife photographer Tom Ulrich will lead two photographic events at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory on Wednesday, March 10.

He will present a nature photography workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then a talk and slide show called "Wildlife Images 2003" at 7 p.m., both at The University of Southern Mississippi GCRL.

Admission to the evening event is free and will be held in the Caylor Auditorium at GCRL. The veteran photographer will feature photos from his 2003 photographic safaris abroad and in North America. He will answer questions and sign his books during the reception following his slide show.

The registration fee for the all-day workshop is $50 per person, payable to GCRL. Registration includes a continental breakfast, light lunch and snacks. Participation is limited to 20. Though the workshop is geared toward beginners, Ulrich tailors the experience to meet needs for all degrees of skill.

"The beginners will definitely benefit from the workshop, but I always help the more advanced get something out of it also," Ulrich said. "I lead many photo trips and always find a wide range of levels."

Ulrich said participants do not need to bring their photographic equipment unless they need an explanation about some aspect of their equipment.

Topics include a brief review of the principles of photography, relationships between shutter and aperture settings, fundamental elements of composition, use and timing of fill-in flash, digital versus film photography, techniques of close-up photography, and a brief discussion of slide etiquette, the photography business and marketing.

Ulrich grew up in South Chicago, graduated with a degree in biology from Southern Illinois University and taught for four years before launching his career as a freelance photographer. He has supported himself with nature photography for the past 29 years.

His library of more than 300,000 transparencies includes birds and mammals from all over the world. His photographs have been featured in publications such as National Wildlife, Audubon, National Geographic, Montana Outdoors and Life.

He has published six nature books, including Mammals of the Rockies, Birds of the Northern Rockies, Once Upon a Frame and his 2002 release, Photo Pantanal. Dr. William E. Hawkins, GCRL executive director, said Ulrich brings the scientific and artistic worlds together.

"Tom earns his living photographing wildlife all over the world," Hawkins sad. "He is an outstanding observer and a biologist. His approach to photography is to capture his subjects exhibiting their natural behavior."

The GCRL is home to the university's Department of Coastal Sciences, the Center for Fisheries Research and Development, and the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center. The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium is also a unit of the laboratory. The GCRL is part of the Southern Miss College of Science and Technology. For more information, call the laboratory at (228) 872-4200.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM