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TS 75, 76, 85, 86: Researching Environmental Issues: Browse and Find Information

Search Everything: Holman Library One Search

Searching the library's collection

Use the search box below to search for books, ebooks, videos, articles, and more!


Here are a few great websites to explore. There is, of course, Google. But there are also some websites hosted by well-known organizations with credible information. Explore these to see how they are talking about environmental issues!

Searching on a general Internet search engine like Google is a great way to start browsing for a topic...especially if you are interested in many things and aren't sure what direction to take. Search casually, skim titles and articles, and get a feel for what is being talked about. Once you have an idea, start building your topic and then searching your topic in the other places below (reference databases, article databases, and our Holman Library catalog)! 

Reference Databases

Reference Articles are short articles written by subject experts on different topics! Kind of like Wikipedia, except all authors are experts on these topics, and the articles are reviewed by editors who are also knowledgeable about the subject. 

Reference articles are a great way to browse for a topic and narrow your topic down by seeing what topics are being written about. Reference articles are also great sources of information to include in your assignment!

Environmental Science Reference Databases

General Reference Databases

Article Databases

When you have a more specific topic to search, try using keywords to search these article databases! Here you will find newspaper, magazine, and academic journal articles.

Newspaper and Magazines:


Browsing and Finding Information is a PROCESS

There is so much information out there about the environment! If you are just starting out with your research, it's best to do these things:

1. Browse first.

Skim different websites and databases. Do some big, simple searches. What are different people (scholars, journalists, government officials) saying about the issues? What issues are there? What issues are you interested in?

2. Start to narrow your topic down.

As you browse the different topics, start thinking about which ones you are most interested in. Choose a couple, and begin exploring those more deeply. How much information is there on that topic?

If there is too much information, you may need to narrow your topic down some more. If there is not enough information, you may need to think about how to broaden your topic...or search again with different keywords!

3. Define your topic and search deeply.

When you are feeling like your topic is a good size for your assignment, go deeper into the different websites and databases. Search strategically and patiently with your keywords. Use strategies such as:

  • Combining keywords in different ways to get the main ideas of your search down (what is it you're really wanting to find?)
  • Changing only one keyword at a time
  • Using an Advanced Search to put different keywords/ideas on multiple lines
  • Filter your search by date, peer-reviewed articles, source type, etc.

Search Tip: Start Broad, Then Narrow

Use different search tools (in the tabs at the top of this page) to find information

1. FIRST: Try broad search words relating to your topic, such as:

  • genetically modified food

2.  NEXT: Try a new search.  Add words to narrow your search, such as:

nutrition safety
legislation environment
controversy agribusiness
poverty small farms
hunger food labeling
health pest resistance


  • Example searches:
    genetically modified food labeling
    genetically modified food safety
    genetically modified food hunger

3.  FINALLY: Brainstorm synonyms or related terms for search words

  • Example: hunger- food supply, food security, famine, malnutrition
  • Example searches:
    • genetically modified food famine
    • genetically modified hunger
    • genetically modified food malnutrition

Search Tip: Combine Keywords on Different Lines