Waxing poetic about science

If you’ve been following this blog for the last month as our intrepid group sails along the West Coast, you’ve probably read quite a few detailed posts describing our sampling procedures, measurement techniques, and experimental designs. Talking about our work is part of the job. Even so, sometimes we scientists can get a bit stuck in our ways, and when we are asked to step away from the tried-and-true journals, seminars, and scientific reports that we routinely use to talk about our research, funny things happen.  A few days ago, the blog team challenged our fellow scientists to a research haiku contest. It didn’t take long to discover that condensing our research into 17 syllables can be quite a task, yet our fellow scientists proved themselves worthy to the task. We may even have a few aspiring poets aboard! As for the others, well, we won’t quit our day jobs (after all, those seawater samples won’t measure themselves).  Hope you enjoy!

On sampling the CTD… 

Last CTD cast of the trip is retreived. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea
Last CTD cast of the trip is retrieved, with the Hakai Institute ship in the background. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

(Tied for) FIRST PLACE:
CTD on deck!
The bottle cop says, “You’re next!”
Sample drawn?  Yes!  Check.
Cathy Cosca

Supplicants waiting
For elixir of answers.
Curb your noodle, please!
Linda Rhodes

“Ode to Rosie”
CTD rosette
full of seawater samples
we take and measure.
Katie Douglas

On carbon chemistry measurements…

Morgan Ostendorf titrates a sample to determine total alkalinity. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

The ebb and flow of samples
Ceaseless as the tide…
Remy Okazaki

Seawater pH
is super cool to study.
You should try it too!
Erin Cuyler

A lab in a can
measuring carbonation
of water, not beer
Brendan Carter

On net tows

Deploying the vertical net at sunset. Photo Credit: Meghan SHea

Ocean pteropods
with their shells dissolved
dreaming of the past
– Team Pteropod

(Tied for) FIRST PLACE:
Courageous krill swim
from the shadow for their lives
but the Bongo wins
Anna McLaskey

ocean pteropods
gently swimming quietly
disappearing soon
– Team Pteropod

(Tied for) THIRD PLACE:
Searching oceans blue
Plankton nets off starboard fly
Pteropods to spy.
Kevin Johnson

(Tied for) THIRD PLACE:
Tricky pteropods
trying to escape traps of
treacherous scientists
– Team Pteropod

On marine microbiology…

A few Pseudo-nitzschia chains from sampling along the West Coast. Photo Credit: Brian Bill

Invisible life
Layered into colored round.
Cold eternity.
Linda Rhodes

Elusive green chains
Floating past the microscope
Spencer Showalter

On life at sea

Scientists watch the sunset on the last night at sea. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

From the grey-streaked churn,
passing wind-mad giants loom.
Steel ship-bones rattle.
 Brendan Carter

“The Power of Many (the crew of the RHB)”
The Fame Of The Man
Comes From Unity Of Man
That Is Strong Power
– Josh Gunter, senior survey technician aboard the Brown

Dolphins at sunset
Silver fish flash their greetings
Then we troubleshoot.
-Dr. Simone Alin

And back on land…

A small dungeness crab found in a net tow. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

Onshore you shall see
Dungeness megalopae
Where you will find me
Carrie Weekes

“The Blog Never Sleeps”
Wordpress fills my days
Bing! Emails arrive from sea
More posts on the way
Meg Chadsey

If you liked our haikus, be sure to check out these haikus from a 2007-08 research cruise to the Arctic Circle aboard the CGCS Amundsen, as well as NOAA PMEL scientist Greg Johnson’s haiku series inspired by the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment, or let us read your best science-related haikus in the comments!

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