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Research Quick Start Guides

Environmental Issues

Guides | Encyclopedias | Atlases | Statistics | Bibliographies | Indexes | Biographies & Directories | Other Libraries | Internet Resources

Guides to Information

Guides to Information can help your get started.

Beacham's Guide to Environmental Issues and Sources (Green Library Information Center GE115.B43 1993) A 5-volume guide to information on a broad range of environmental topics. Each chapter is on a different topic and begins with a list of sources for general research followed by introductory materials, then narrower topics.

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Dictionaries

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Dictionaries, etc. can provide useful descriptions, overviews, and lists of recommended reading on a topic.


Encyclopedia of World Environmental History (Green Library Information Center GF10.E63 2004)

The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change (Green Library SSRC GE10 .E536 2001) "the science of environmental change, but [also] the social, economic and political dimensions of environmental issues, environmental problems, conservation, management and policy aspects." Mostly short entries with sources for further reading.

The Environment A to Z (Green Library Information Center GE10 .H67 2001)

Conservation and Environmentalism: An Encyclopedia (Green Library Information Center GE10.C68 1995) brief articles with suggestions for further reading.

Encyclopedia of Environmental Studies. Facts on File (Green Library Information Center TD9.A84 2001) Short entries.

Handbook of Environmental Sociology (Green Library SSRC GE195.H35 2002)

International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics (Green Library Information Center GE 170.I55 2002) Mostly short entries with sources for further reading.

Environmental Activism : A Reference Handbook (Green Library Information Center GE195 .S88 2003)


Ecology and the Environment (Green Library Information Center GE50.C56 1997) articles "arranged chronologically by date of event," covering 1902 to 1996.

Historical Dictionary of North American Environmentalism (Green Library Information Center GE10 .W45 1997) "an attempt to capture the people, places and events that contributed to the development of environmentalism around the world." Short entries.

Global Environment Outlook 3: Past, Present and Future Perspectives. UNEP (Green Library Information Center GE170.G5625 2002) "an overview of major developments between 1972 and 2002 highlights significant milestones and integrates environmental, economic and social factors within a unified world view."


World At Risk : A Global Issues Sourcebook (Green Library Information Center JZ1242 .W67 2002) with articles on topics such as "Biodiversity," "Deforestation," "Energy," "Fragile Ecosystems," "Freshwater," "Global Warming," etc.

The Wellbeing of Nations : a Country-by-Country Index of Quality of Life and the Environment (Green Library Information Center GE140.P74 2001)

World Resources (Green Library Information Center Statistics HC55.W67 latest year, older copies in SSRC and Stacks) A series (1986+) published to provide "accessible, accurate information on environment and development."

State of the World - A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society (Green Library Information Center HC59.S73 - latest year; older copies in Stacks) Annual report on critical issues facing the global environment. Some tables and graphs.

Yearbook of International Co-operation on Environment and Development (Green Library Information Center HC79.E5G74; earlier years in Stacks) Essays and agreements on efforts environmental and development problems worldwide.

Conservation & Rainforests

The Smithsonian Guides to Natural America: The Pacific Northwest--Washington and Oregon (Green Library Information Center QH105.W2C48 1995).

Rainforests of the World - A Reference Handbook (Green Library Information Center QH541.5.R27G39 2001) Includes an overview of rainforests, deforestation and conservation, chronologies, biographical sketches, statistics, and a directory of organizations. Annotated bibliography of print and non-print sources. Glossary.

Endangered Species

Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of North America (Green Library Information Center QH77 .N56 B43 2001)

Beacham's Guide to International Endangered Species (Green Library Information Center QL82 .B435 1998)

Endangered Oceans : Opposing Viewpoints (Green Library Information Center QH541.5 .S3 E535 1999)

Endangered Species : Opposing Viewpoints (Green Library Information Center QH75 .E66 1996)

Endangered Species : A Reference Handbook (Green Library Information Center QL82 .S49 1998)


Integration : Indicators for Energy (Green Library Information Center Statistics HD9502.E852.I58 2001)

World Energy Assessment : Energy and the Challenge of Sustainability (Green Library Information Center Statistics TJ163.2.W657 2000)

BP Amoco Statistical Review of World Energy - world-wide statistics on oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity: Reserves, consumption, trade, etc.

Global Warming and Pollution

The Ozone Dilemma: A Reference Handbook (Green Library Information Center QC879.7.N49 1995) outlines "the main features of this debate" with sources for background information and further investigation.

Environmental Hazards: Marine Pollution (Green Library Information Center GC1085.G67 1993) designed "to provide ready access to a broad range of information about marine pollution."

Pollution: Opposing Viewpoints (Green Library Information Center TD176.7.P65 2000)

Recycling in America: A Reference Handbook, 2nd ed. (Green Library Information Center TD794.5.S77 1997) contains an overview, chronology, biographical sketches, data, directory of organizations and online resources, bibliography, glossary, and index.

Toxic Waste Site: An Encyclopedia of Endangered America (Green Library Information Center TD 1040.C73 1997)


AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment (Green Library SSRC HB849.415.H374 2000)

Atlas of the Environment (Green Library Information Center G1046.G3L4 1994) Presents "basic facts about the natural and human environments, and what is happening to them."

World Atlas of Desertification (Green Library SSRC Atlas Stand G1046.J4M5 1997)


OECD Environmental Indicators 2001 : Towards Sustainable Development. (Green Library Information Center Statistics Shelf GE140.O14 2001; available in fulltext from OECD homepage)

1991-1992 Green Index - A State-By-State Guide to the Nation's Environmental Health (Green Information Center RA566.3.H32 1991) Statistical tables of indicators which measure and rank the environmental health of each state in the United States. Includes summaries on many environmental topics. Bibliographies and maps.

Vital Signs 2003- The Trends that are Shaping Our Future (Green Library Information Center TD193.2 .B76) Essays, graphs, and tables on worldwide environmental trends.


Bibliographies can help you identify books and articles on a subject. Some include descriptions (annotations).

Global Warming : A Bibliography 1999 (Green Library Information Center Z7164 .S66 C66 NO.55 )

Renewable Energy, a Bibliography 2002 (Green Library Information Center Z7164 .S66 C66 NO.67)

Periodical Indexes

Indexes (in paper and electronic formats) can help you identify articles in magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals and other resources. Those restricted to the Stanford community are marked with the Stanford only icon. Choose the [Help] after a database name to see it's help. For other indexes see the Databases A-Z and Green Library CD-ROMs lists.

Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Databases [Help] Additional help in pdf Stanford onlyI

Agricola (1970+). . . Covers worldwide literature on agriculture and related topics. Includes abstracts

America: History and Life (1964+ on Web) covers U.S. and Canadian history. Stanford only

BIOSIS at LANL [Help] (1969+) index to literature in the life sciences. Stanford only

Biotechnology Abstracts (1982+) Stanford onlyCovers all aspects of biotechnology, including genetic engineering, biochemical engineering, and waste disposal.

CAB Direct (1973+) agriculture and applied life sciences Stanford only full-text information on Congress and American politics. Stanford only

EI/Compendex [Help] (1969+) indexes engineering literature. Stanford only

Expanded Academic ASAP [Help] general index to over 1500 magazines with some fulltext. (1980+) Click Proceed. Stanford only

GeoRef [Help] (1755+ ) from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. Stanford only

GRIP: (GeoRef in Process) from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. Stanford only

LexisNexis Academic - selected Lexis-Nexis files especially good for fulltext news, business, and law information. Limited to Stanford students, faculty, and staff.

LexisNexis Congressional (1970+) full-text of U.S. legislative information. Stanford only

Medline [Help] is available through PubMed. It is also available through OCLC, Ovid, and NLM Gateway. Stanford only

PAIS International, 1972+ ; 1915+ volumes are shelved at Green Library Information Center Z7163.P9) indexes selected books, government documents, and periodical articles on contemporary public issues and the making of public policy. Stanford only

Biographies & Directories

American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present. ABC-CLIO (Green Library Information Center GE55.B43 2000) Biographical essays. Includes "List of Leaders by Occupation or Work Focus."

The Environmentalists: A Biographical Dictionary from the 17th Century to the Present (Green Library Information Center S926.A2A94 1993)

World Who is Who and Does What in Environment and World Directory of Environmental Organizations (Green Library Information Center GE55 .W67 1997) "A handbook of national and international organizations and programs--governmental and non-governmental--concerned with protecting the earth's resources."

Environmental Grantmaking Foundations (Green Library Information Center has current issue GE80 .E58 2001).

Other Stanford Libraries

In addition to the resources in Green Library, you will want to use the resources in other libraries on campus.

Jonsson Library of Government Documents (in the basement and West Stacks 2 of Green Library's Bing Wing) contains many government documents--for California and the United States, but also selected documents for other countries and the United Nations. Note: For government documents reference see the Information Center.

Branner Earth Sciences Library (in the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building) is a good place to locate additional maps and materials on environmental topics such as minerals, oil, natural gas, environmental geology. Branner collects publications of the U.S. Geological Survey, state geological surveys, and foreign geological surveys. Many of these agencies produce environmental studies.

Falconer Biology Library (in Herrin Hall) contains newsletters and journals related to conservation of wildlife and environmental protection.

Hopkins Marine Station Miller Library (in Pacific Grove, (831) 373-6658) emphasizes marine biology and marine ecosystems. It includes material on marine pollution, resource management and conservation, including fisheries and marine mammals.

Engineering Library (in Terman Engineering building) has materials on the technical aspects of environmental pollution.

Swain Library of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (in the Organic Chemistry Building) contains handbooks and monographs dealing with a variety of environmental subjects.

Lane Medical Library (in the Medical Center) has information on the effects of pollutants on human health and their medical treatment. Areas of particular interest are toxicology, environmental health, occupational health, and health effects of water pollution.

Crown Law Library (on the 2nd floor of the School of Law) collects materials on the legal aspects of environmental law and issues.

Green Library Media-Microtext Services has videocassettes and films on environmental topics.

Internet Resources

Last modified: September 17, 2008