What is conservation haiku all about?

Conservation haiku* started on the social media platform Twitter! In June 2015, Steph tweeted that she will share a haiku on Twitter for every week of the coming year. Sam picked up on Steph’s tweet and said, ‘Love! Can I join you? Can we make this a thing? #conservationhaiku’. Now, some 20 weeks later, we have more than 40 haiku to share, and decided to start compiling our completed as well as future haiku here on this blog: conservationhaiku.org. The goal of our blog is to offer a unique and educational experience for visitors through the combination of poetry, imagery, short stories and informational text about conservation topics of interest to us. Welcome to our blog, we hope that you enjoy your visit and learn something new about our natural environment, biodiversity, and other topical issues related to the conservation of nature around the world. You can also follow our latest haiku each week on Twitter by following each of us @ConnectedWaters and @SamOester, and by following the hashtag #conservationhaiku.

*Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Modern haiku is written in three lines following a 5/7/5 syllable count. Traditionally, haiku focused on images from nature. Haiku emphasize simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.

About the authors

Sam Oester

Sam Oester

Sam is an environmental scientist and doctoral candidate at George Mason University. Her research interests include marine conservation, aquatic ecology and water-borne diseases. She studies ecosystems, animals, plants and microbes associated with water, mostly. This includes oceans, streams, estuaries, and wetlands. She has also researched non-aquatic ecology, as the terrestrial environment is a major part of watersheds. She has worked around the globe and is currently launching a large pilot project incorporating all her research interests in Haiti. She also promotes poverty reduction, community conservation, citizen science (#citsci) and science communication (#scicomm). She works to help break barriers for women (#womeninscience, #womeninSTEM) and minorities in STEM and promotes collaborations between the arts and science (#sciart, #STEAM). Sam mentors students across the U.S., especially girls, who are interested in a future in STEM and speaks to schools, clubs and organizations for budding scientists. She is the president-elect of the Society for Conservation Biology Marine Section and the chair for the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress. She is an arts enthusiast and lover of stories. You can contact Sam directly by email: soester (at) gmu (dot) edu.

Steph Januchowski-Hartley 


Steph is a conservation scientist and educator. Her research is focused on developing tools and approaches for addressing complex questions about impacts of human modifications on natural systems and how we can best allocate limited dollars to mitigate impacts. Steph primarily studies freshwater ecosystems, but has also dabbled in projects related to marine and terrestrial conservation. She has a recently realized passion for communicating about science and conservation, and is engaged in diverse programs both online and offline, and in schools and communities. She is a #STEM mentor through the STEMNET Ambassadors, and has been actively engaged in outreach programs related to rivers and World Fish Migration Day. She is also extremely passionate about the conservation haiku initiative and hopes that using diverse forms of writing and communication platforms, along with striking imagery will open new doors for communicating about conservation to different audiences. Steph currently lives and works in France, and is an active member of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Freshwater Working Group and European Section where she has been lucky to collaborate with conservation scientists and decision makers from myriad regions around the world! To learn more about her research and outreach you can visit her webpage: http://srjanuchowski-hartley.com. You can contact Steph directly by email: stephierenee (at) gmail (dot) com