Science and Technology Are Fundamental to JGI’s Conservation Efforts: Highlights from 2022


“We can only achieve our true human potential when head and heart are in harmony”—this has always been Dr. Jane Goodall’s approach to using science for conservation. The way that Jane and The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) tell stories is meant to connect to the hearts of our audiences, but we need scientific data to connect to minds and support important decisions.

JGI’s Science Platform combines citizen science, expert observations and data, and modeling and analysis to drive sustainable conservation decision-making that benefits humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. Our conservation science team makes the best possible use of existing and emerging technologies and best scientific practices to advance research, and these approaches are always changing and adapting. Here are some highlights from 2022:

  • The JGI Science and Knowledge Hub was created to house standard curated datasets, insights and analyses, and scalable data collection protocols for clean data capture to improve tree planting and habitat restoration initiatives.
  • Through a joint effort with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, JGI integrated Esri ArcGIS processes into decision-making. This tool will automatically calculate indicators of habitat viability and will continue to evolve in coming years. Staff also received training on the Decision Support System.
  • Purchases of new technology included a drone to facilitate livestock surveys and camera traps and smartphones to modernize data collection across the board.
  • Facial recognition AI technology was used to identify chimpanzees from video recordings. Those data were stored and cataloged in the cloud using the digital archiving platform created by partners at MediaValet.
  • Standardized databases were developed in partnership with the Esri Advantage Program to store Tree planting/ restoration, sustainable livelihood initiative, and global Roots & Shoots activity data.

With the constant influx of new technologies and ways to integrate them, who knows what future years will bring?

“How do you convert amazing information, tools, and data to actually improve conservation decisions on the ground?
The key—which Jane showed so clearly—
is to inspire a generation of storytellers and
scientists who are learning to reach hearts.”

Dr. Lilian Pintea, Vice President of Conservation Science, JGI USA

Support from key partners and our network of donors makes it possible for our teams to effectively utilize up-to-date technologies in our varied work. Learn more and support our programs at

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.