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ENV 220: Introduction to Ecological Principles

Fall 2014

Subject Guide

Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian's picture
Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014

Evaluating Info Using the CRAAP Test & Distinguishing Between Scholarly & Popular Sources

With so much information out there on the Internet & elsewhere, how do you know what's reliable & credible? Check out the CRAAP Test to learn more about Credibility, Relevance,Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose!

Since you will be required to locate some scholarly articles, how can you tell if a source is scholarly? Check out our handout that explains the differences between scholarly & popular sources. 

Environmental/Ecological Web Resources To Get Your Started

Below is a sample of environmental/ecological web resources: 

  • Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)  
    Provides information on the lead environmental agency in each state, plus a link to the agency’s website.
  • Environmental Information Management Systems (EIMS)
    A searchable EPA site that provides descriptive information (metadata) for data sets, databases, documents, models, projects, and spatial data. Some resources can be downloaded directly from EIMS.
  • Fish and Wildlife Management Offices - State, Territorial, and Tribal
    Links, organized by state, to web pages of state fish and game departments, state natural resources departments, and state service offices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • National Center for Environmental Health
    A division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Site includes full text of fact sheets and brochures and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Series.
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences  
    A division of the National Institute of Health. Site is searchable and includes answers to health-related questions, factsheets, and pamphlets (click on Facts About Environment Related Diseases).
  • National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  
    This United States Department of Agriculture site links to a variety of databases (see Technical Resources), fact sheets and NRCS publications (see General Information), and information on specific NRCS programs.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)  
    Poorly organized but searchable site provides information about UNEP conventions and programs, including Agenda 21, press releases and other documents.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Gateway to EPA resources. Site is searchable, and there is full-text access to a large number of agency publications, including the EPA Journal (click on Information Sources).
  • U. S. Geological Survey  
    Searchable site with much information on the earth sciences and the environment. Go to Site Map/Science Programs and Information/Themes/Environment for resources on anthropogenic and natural contaminants,...
  • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Searchable site with information on environmental contaminants, invasive species, endangered species, the National Wetland Inventory, and more. Use the Index to find out what’s available.

Limiting Your Search to Government Sources Using Google!

The US government (as well as state & local agencies) cover a wide variety of environmental resources (including research reports, data & statistics, and more) and the vast majority of this information is now available online.  However,  it can be sometimes difficult to wade through all of the information available on Google.

As you are searching on Google, try this search tip:

  • Let's say you want to focus your topic on "climate change"  and "coral reefs". Use those keywords on Google (with quotes), then type in after your keywords. 
  • If you try this with your other keywords that you are interested in, you will receive information from major government agencies such as the EPA, NOAA, and NASA--just to name a few.

Check Out UNLV Libraries QuickSearch!

Check out the library Quick Search. Search for books, articles, and more all from one search box!

Quick Search is a research tool that allows you to search multiple databases and the UNLV Library catalog in a single source

Quick Search is multidisciplinary, and is a great place to start your research in scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, books, government publications, and more.

When you search on Quick Search, below are a few tips: 

  • You can limit by contact type (such as newspapers, magazine articles, etc.)
  • You can limit by date range.
  • Content type limiting to exclude newspaper articles and book reviews.
  • You can limit your resources to only Scholarly sources.
  • Resources beyond journal articles, books and conference papers. Quick Search provides access to images, archival material, reports, theses, patents and many more types of content—opening up the realm of accessible and findable research.

Need more help with QuickSearch? Check out the new QuickSearch Tutorial!

Book Searching in the Library Catalog!

For books (as well as DVDs, govt. publications, etc.), check out our Library Catalog!

Let's say you wanted to investigate Nevada wildlife in our book catalog.

In the keyword box, type: Nevada and wildlife

Here's an example: Nevada's changing wildlife habitat : an ecological history / George E. Gruell with Sherman Swanson

Call Number: QH105.N3 G78 2012   (5th floor, Lied Library)

UNLV Library Databases: Searching for Magazine, Newspaper & Journal Articles

In addition to using QuickSearch to find articles, the library has many general & subject specific databases. Below are some great databases to get you started on your library assignment--including newspapers, magazine, and academic/scholarly journal articles going back several decades through the present!

Citing Your Information

Use the following format for citing journal articles in your bibliography:

Author(s). Date. Title of article. Title of journal volume (issue): pages.


Schoener, T.W. 2011. The newest synthesis: Understanding the interplay of evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Science 331: 426-429.

For information on the citation format for other resources (books, webpages, etc.) using CBE style (also called CSE) and N-Y (Name-Year) documentation, visit this website:

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