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+Environmental Science: Getting Started

Environmental Science

Welcome to the Environmental Science Resource guide!  Environmental Science is a great interdisciplinary field, that means you'll be looking at information and resources from many different fields. That can make the research a little more complex, but it can also be really interesting.

This guide will give you some suggestions for starting points as you begin research environmental science topics.  If you have any questions at any point, please don't hesitate to contact me! Just click the "Schedule Appointment" button under my photo to see when I'm available.

Some thoughts on research…  

Research is not a linear process. Instead, it is a matter of trying something, evaluating and learning from the results, refining your strategy, trying something else, and exploring lots of possibilities. It should be a fun thing - finding new information and thinking about what that might mean for your topic.  This list is not meant to be taken literally as a strict procedure; instead these are questions to keep in mind as you do your research. 

  1. What discipline or disciplines am I working in? Use our librarian-created subject guides to help you get started in an unfamiliar discipline.

  2. What sources do I already have?
    • Do they mention other sources of information or data (bibliography)?
    • Do they use specific terminology or wording?
    • Do they talk about particular places, people, or agencies?
  3. What type of information do I need?
    • Who might collect and/or publish that information?
    • Who would be interested in it?
    • How recent does the information need to be?
    • Does location matter? (it often does in environmental research, but in many cases, you can use research done in similar locations and make the connection yourself).
  4. How and where will I search for the information I need?  Use this guide for suggestions of where and how to search.
  5. How will I access the information that I find? 
  6. What keywords or terms could be used to describe my topic?
  7. After running a few searches: What results am I getting?  Am I getting too many results?  Too few?
  8. What refinements should I make to my search in light of those results?  Most library databases let you refine your search easily by source type, date, subject, and more.
  9. How will I use the results that I've found?
  10. What information am I still missing?

and finally...keep notes throughout this process!

You can use a document or Zotero or some other method. Whatever method works best for you is the one to use! 

Things to make note of:

  • Sources that are good, where is the source (link, or where you saved it), and why is it good?
  • Where have you searched, what did you search there, and was it successful?
  • Were there other ideas, topics, or specific sources you still need to look up?

Associate Director | Research, Education & Engagement

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Karen Brunner
O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library |
Room 118