October 1, 2014
I’ve just completed three weeks of hydrographic surveying on the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, and I know that any geologist that has gone in the field can relate to what I’ve come back to – the backlog of emails, immediate meetings with students and campus committees, and the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction for being in the field. But very quickly, complete exhaustion sets in, and I need something to “lighten the load” and provide a happy distraction.
In comes… science haiku. I have seen science haiku periodically appear, such as this mini-collection by Popular Science. And the Twitter account for @NOAAResearch provides a weekly edition of current research-themed haiku:
OK, so some (many?) people may think science haiku are silly, or a waste of time. But science haiku are catching on in the K-12 classroom, where teachers are strongly encouraged to engage students in nonfiction reading and writing. Certainly, having students read and article from a magazine or EGU’s Planet Press and write a haiku will require students to process and apply the information they just read. One of the best examples I have seen of science haiku as an outreach/communication tool is The Entire IPCC Report in 19 Illustrated Haiku. You can read the haiku with accompanying illustrations below (some of you may have been fortunate enough to be present for the reading of this book at Open Mic Night at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting).
Of course, scientists can be the most creative when we are under pressure with one or more immediate deadlines – say, for example, an AGU abstract deadline. I created a Storify of the #AGU11AbstractHaiku that led up to the abstract deadline for the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting – unfortunately, Storify is no longer available, so I updated this post in 2023 by adding the tweets that still appear in Twitter with the hashtag. I wouldn’t be surprised if one year, we see AGU presentation haiku appear right before the meeting, during the last-minute push to prepare posters and talks… Enjoy!
— AGU (American Geophysical Union) (@theAGU) August 2, 2011
— Abby Kavner (@mineralphys) August 2, 2011
— Dr. Nicholas Heavens (@WeatherOnMars) August 2, 2011
Last week of classes/are a bad conference time./ Not going this year. #AGU11AbstractHaiku
— Dr. Kim Hannula (@stressrelated) August 2, 2011
oh that one was incorrect – lets try again: no research done yet / writing a talk anyways / hope research goes well #AGU11AbstractHaiku
— off the shelf edge (@ZaneJobe) August 2, 2011
— Dr. G (@guertin) August 3, 2011
— citizenscience.org (@CitSciCentral) August 3, 2011
— Dr. G (@guertin) August 5, 2011
And a fun one I had to include…
— Jessica Irving (@jess_irving) August 4, 2011