Last Saturday, I had yet another chance to march the streets of what basically feels like home to
me: Washington, DC. I’ve spent a good deal of time in this city, attending both of Obama’s inaugurations, writing for Defenders of Wildlife, working in busy restaurants downtown, marching for women and immigration, cycling and walking everywhere, even discovering more pockets of wildlife than you’d expect. And, over time, the nature girl within me grew to love this busy concrete jungle. So on this day, I was proud to represent with all my love and respect for science on my very own stomping grounds, surrounded by thousands and thousands of like-minded individuals.

And boy did we get wet. It rained for the entirety of the four hour long rally peppered with speeches by scientists including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Little Miss Flint, heads of the Nature Conservancy, Association for the Advancement of Science, Defenders of Wildlife and many more. And despite the hours of standing in the soggy elements, I didn’t witness even a single dampened spirit. The passion kept us warm (except my poor mom, whose “rain jacket” acted more like a sponge, but damn did she cheer just as loud!) and we stood, surrounded my masses of scientists and science advocates under the towering Washington Monument that faded in and out of the moisture-laden clouds

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As speaker after speaker represented every aspect of science, from farmers to entomologists to NASA astronauts, we were showered not just by rain, but with strength, determination and hope. And the reigning theme was this: ditch the jargon, make science approachable and understandable, read everything, ask questions, think critically about the information you’re being given, share what you’ve learned, invite others to question the information you give them, encourage kids to embrace science, pursue truth, lend your time and energy to scientific causes, call your congressmen, and vote!

After getting thoroughly pumped up by the rally and jazzed by the fantastic music provided by Jon Batiste and Stay Human (the band for Stephen Colbert’s Late Show), we then turned toward Constitution Avenue to begin the march to the Capitol. Umbrellas and disintegrating signs were raised high as the masses of bodies moved off of the grounds surrounding the monument and funneled slowly onto the streets. As the rain continued to fall and we failed to move forward more than a few steps at a time, one woman quipped, “Instead of the March for Science, they should call it the Shuffle for Science!” Well, that was testament to how many felt the undeniable urge to show their support and march on our nation’s capitol.

To hear sounds from the march on DC as well as four other marches covered on the ground by Wild Lens correspondents, listen our Eyes on Conservation podcast:

 

 

So now that the Science March is over, it’s time to look forward. But wait..what? We have yet another march to get to?!? That would be The People’s Climate March, set for this Saturday the 29th. Now I was first pretty peeved to learn about this second march too late to be able to attend, not to mention, why have two marches separated by a week rather than joining forces, hand in hand? Well, as it turns out, the Climate March is an annual event while the Science March was a one-time thing put into action by those of the Women’s March who wanted to keep up with the priority issues addressed that day (science rang widely throughout the Women’s March: “Protect our Mother”) that our current administration continues to so brazenly spurn and deny.

So here we go again..

If you’re not in DC either, no worries, there are plenty of sister marches happening across the nation and around the world. I will be attending the march in Sarasota, Florida and reporting for Wild Lens from there. What all these marches are doing is gathering support, gaining a great deal of notice, proving that this is something that is important to masses and masses of people. But, marches aside, it’s the action in our daily lives that will make the real difference. So, once again, the emphasis is this: educate yourself, share your knowledge, show your support for science through donations, volunteerism, and your own vote. Call your congressman or woman, they’re watching, they’re listening. Let’s make sure to help motivate them to move us toward a healthy, sustainable, earth-and-human-friendly future.

Thanks to my momma, Marjorie T. Hollis, for helping make this march possible for me.






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