On Saturday 22 April, Earth Day and the March for Science call for a double celebration of science and its role in promoting sustainability and well-being for humans and our environment. Numerous national and international environmental and scientific organizations have combined forces through public rallies and science education initiatives to foster awareness, support and understanding of the importance of science and scientific research for guiding what we decide to do on this planet, and beyond.
If you feel compelled to participate or help in some way, you might ask yourself: “What’s the best way I can get started? How can I better understand the issues at hand? And how can I join in the conversation and make an informed, productive contribution to our understanding and shaping of a future sustainable environment?”
Enter DePaul Library and Librarians!
By using our research help services and the Library’s fantastic array of convenient science information resources, you can develop a solid understanding of the science underlying the environmental issues you feel strongly about, and become a potent science advocate in the process.
Here are just a few of the important ways the DePaul University Library can help you transform yourself into an informed participant and contributor to the understanding and protection of our precious living planet:
- Give yourself a break from Google. Instead of tackling millions of un-sortable, unreliable sources bent on reducing your wallet and your propensity to think critically, discover and explore the science behind your topics of interest using one of the many Subject Research Guides the Library has created for you. Guides covering subjects like Environmental Sciences & Studies; Chemistry; Biology; Physics; and Health Sciences offer you user-friendly and convenient access to the most useful and productive science information resources available, including the flagship environmental sciences database, Environment Complete. For deeper digging into your science topic, you can work from more specialized subject Research Guides, like those covering Climate Change; Astronomy; or Evidence-Based Nursing.
- In the Library’s Subject Research Guides, take advantage of the excellent scientific overviews and explanations that experts have contributed and made available through online reference sources like Sage Knowledge, and Credo Reference. In a few clicks and a few minutes you can become much more of an expert yourself in understanding the scientific context and terminology associated with your topic.
- Use the Library’s many online tutorials and “How To” Research Guides to see how you can adopt a more scientific and systematic approach to your information searching. Like a science experiment, this includes taking notes of your observations, trying things out, reflecting and evaluating the outcomes, then adapting your search strategy to more effectively find the information of most value for addressing your research question, thesis, or hypothesis.
- To get a fun and fascinating introduction to science and the environment, you need go no further than the Library Catalog—it’s teeming with interesting and insightful popular science books! Alternatively, when you’re digging for a deeper understanding of the major issues, you’ll find a rich assortment of detailed works, such as those covering climatic changes. If you get caught by the bug, read about making yourself a life and career in science.
- Need help finding scientific information? Be sure to make good use of our Ask-A-Librarian service and our Subject Liaison Librarians , many of whom have science-related backgrounds.
- Like the intrepid scientist, you can be bold and curious in your process of inquiry. When your topic or phenomenon of interest appears to lie in a non-science field, use resources like Web of Science and ScienceDirect to discover and explore the scientific aspects and underpinnings. Whether you wish to understand the causes of social upheavals in history, or how the chemical composition and properties of paint pigments shaped the technique of a particular Italian Renaissance painter, the insight revealed through science can help you reach a more accurate and evidence-based understanding of why things happen the way they do. Discovering the science of things could bring to life an entirely new dimension to your studies.
- Note that in the process of finding information—as in science and engineering, failure is not an option–it’s essential! Developing effective searches is dependent on learning from what works and what doesn’t.
- In the same way that scientists work in collaborative groups, remember that you’re not alone in your pursuit of information. At every step of the learning and research process, librarians are here to help you reach your goals—that’s what we’re here for, and that’s our passion! Sure, science and research can be frustrating and success may sometimes appear elusive, but before you start thinking about giving up or turning about, count on the library to work with you and work the problem together.
So, whether you planned to participate in the March for Science or celebrate Earth Day, feel encouraged to use DePaul Library and its many science information resources to learn more about the issues and challenges facing humanity and our planet.