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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Juan Zapata wants to work with renewable energy — an industry currently in turmoil as a result of the new White House administration’s proposed policies.

That is in part why Zapata, a UF electrical engineering junior, decided to organize a local March for Science in Gainesville on Saturday in tandem with similar marches across the country. While the 20-year-old originally planned to drive to Washington, D.C., for a march in the nation’s capital, he said it was important to help create one in Gainesville.

“What we’re advocating for is evidence-based policy in office, for the protection of STEM education, research and funding,” Zapata said.

The march, organized by local groups, will follow a planned route from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on West University Avenue to Bo Diddley Community Plaza, followed by a rally. The march will begin around 11 a.m., and the rally will last from noon until 3 p.m.

“Science is not political,” said Andrea Dutton, a UF professor who will speak at the rally. A specialist in the relationship between sea levels and climate change, she said her talk will focus on her perspective on the relationship between science and politics.

Zapata said he is expecting hundreds to come out to march.

“It’s definitely going to be something new,” he said. “But regardless, I’m excited for it, and my dogs are gonna be with me. And I’m more than happy to be there, front and center.”

March for Science Gainesville Poster Making

  • Who: IndivisibleGNV
  • What: Making posters for March for Science Gainesville
  • When: Wednesday, 6p.m.to8p.m.
  • Where: First Magnitude Brewing Company
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