Subject Guide: Sustainability


Find citations, abstracts, and full-text articles online using the databases. If the full text of an article is not available in the database you're using, use the Article Linker icon to see if it is available in another database. If the full text is not available remember that we can get it through interlibrary loan. More information on Interlibrary Loan.

The full list of databases for Environmental Topics can be viewed at the Database by Subject page. Environmental topics are covered in a wide variety of databases. For the latest news search the News and Current Topics databases. Science Direct has scientific research on sustainable and environment topics published in some of the most important journals.

Search terms for databases and library catalog.

Choosing the best search term for a database can be challenging. The best terms are usually those that are general enough to include many articles that are relevant to the research. For example the term "climatic changes" describes changes in global temperature or weather patterns that are occurring. The term "global warming" describes temperature increases and will find fewer articles.

Some good search examples are:

  • Renewable energy sources
  • Alternative fuels
  • Sustainable agriculture, Sustainable design, Sustainable engineering, etc.
  • Recycled products

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Guides

Use reference materials to find expert sources of quick information. Encyclopedias and dictionaries offer concise information and can inspire ideas for specific research topics.

  • The Environment A to Z This reference book is an excellent place to start your research. Topics are presented in alphabetical order and includes subtopics that can be researched further in databases or other books. This book is located in the Middletown Campus Library on the second floor reference section: 363.7003 H79e.
  • The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology This 20 volume reference collection covers environmental topics among other science topics. The detailed articles are broken into subtopics. This is an excellent source for finding out how much information there is on a given topic. This collection is located in the Middletown Campus Library on the first floor reference section: 503 M178.
  • The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History This book traces the history of the environment in North America starting with the initial inhabitants in pre historic times. The chapters describe major environmental movements and periods. A chronology of the important of important environmental events and movements throughout history of America. This book is located in the Newburgh Campus library: 304.2 M535c.

Online Resources

  • American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
    To date over 600 college and university presidents signed a commitment to lead their colleges and universities into a more sustainable future. The site features a resources page for building management, procurement and waste reduction. It also includes a news page for information on sustainable efforts in colleges and universities.*
  • Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
    The website for AASHE is a portal to sustainability efforts from colleges and universities. From the site's resource center students, faculty and staff can find read publications, find education & research resources, campus operations and other information about how colleges and universities are using resources. Although some of the content is available to members non-members can link to a wealth of information.*
  • US Energy Information Administration Renewable & Alternative Fuel Data
    This page is a part of the Department of Energy's initiative to provide information on all sources of energy. This specific page provides details on energy use across all types of renewable and alternative fuels. Statistical summaries are detailed by energy source type (biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, etc.). The most recent reports and analyses and forecasts are available on the front page and includes links to the archives. Charts and graphs show rates and averages of renewable energy consumption and other information. Historical data goes back to 1949. There is also a link to a glossary of renewable energy terms. Explore the whole site at:* or focus on renewables:*

Last updated June 2010