Effects of site preparation and vegetation control on the plant communities, successional dynamics, and stand structure of a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation.

Plantation forests,
despite Round-Up and chainsaws,
Not lifeless deserts.

I recently interviewed for a research/outreach curator at a local biological station. When asked about my doctoral work, I recited this haiku, which I published in 2008 on dissertationhaiku.wordpress.com. I’m not certain it was the best move I’ve made in an interview, but the look of surprise (and for some, delight) on the interview committee’s faces was worth it. As the editor of the Dissertation Haiku site, Drew Steen, attests, “Dissertations are long and boring. By contrast, everybody likes haiku.”

After fleshing out the findings of my research for the committee, I explained how I use haiku in the classroom to force my students to focus on a clear, concise argument, and that science communication could be in a better place using such rhetorical strategies.

And, it makes me laugh.

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