Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Our work, in seventeen syllables: CEOAS holds inaugural haiku contest

cherry blossom

Distilling scientific research into a short summary – an abstract, a conference poster, a tweet – can be a challenge. But some CEOAS faculty, staff and students have condensed their work even further, into 17 stirring syllables. The college’s inaugural haiku contest garnered 20 entries, and the results are sheer poetry.

Judges for the contest were Abby Metzger, manager of the CEOAS Publications group; Robert Allan, CEOAS director of Student Services; and Eric Wayne Dickey, research program administrator and poet, College of Liberal Arts. Nancy Steinberg, science communicator with the CEOAS Publications group, championed the contest – from soliciting entries to curating results.

The winners are:

First place

Tiller in my hand,
my boat, a speck on the blue,
mapping krill beneath.
    ~ Kim Bernard, Assistant Professor

Second place

weathered at the edge
i, with a persistent core
live like olivine
    ~ Thi Truong, Ph.D. student

Third place

Models have errors
Observations are too sparse
Find way to combine
    ~ Bob Miller, Professor Emeritus

Read a randomly selected haiku from among the entries.


See the rest of the haiku entries, all of which deserved a prize.


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