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Biology 109 (BIO 109) : Ecology and Environmental Conservation: Getting Started

Your Assignment

Choose a subtopic from the list of topics in your text: “Stuff: The secret lives of everyday things.” You must use the College’s Library databases/resources, and may utilize books, journals, periodicals, news services, etc. The sources used must be reputable (check with me if you are uncertain as to the validity of the resources, or if you have difficulty finding acceptable or sufficient resources). Your focus must be on the ‘current state’ of the issue, with references covering your subtopic no older than one year prior to your assigned date. A minimum of two references are required! Your book may be used as a reference, but you must have at least two additional references. The articles covering your subtopic can be local, regional, national or international in scope.

Library Resources Required

You are required to use two library resources that were published within the past year. So what does your instructor mean by this? You are to use Jefferson College Library databases or the book catalog to find reliable and up-to-date information about your topic. Check out the Recommended Resources tab to begin searching.


Our World in Data

Governmental and Organizational Websites

Government websites are good places to look for current information about environmental topics. You may want to include statistics, legal cases, or state and federal government regulations.

European Union Environmental Statistics

European Environment Agency: Waste & Recycling

EPA Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste, and Recyling

USDA Food Waste Statistics

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Indicators

U.S. Department of Agriculture Statistics

Union of Concerned Scientists Statistics

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Quick Tip:  If you want to do a search for government documents in Google or another search engine like DuckDuckGo, type your word or phrase in the search box, (use quotes to keep words in a phrase together), and then add "site:gov" to the end of the search to limit to government websites, e.g. "rare earth minerals" site:gov You may also want to use the Search tool to limit to results from the last year.


Websites & Publications with Science News

Some publications are known for having better science coverage than others. This infographic gives you an idea of the perspective and reliability of some of the most popular ones. Remember to check with a librarian if you aren't sure about the source of information you are finding.


Find Books

You have access to millions of titles through Archway, our library catalog, and MOBIUS, the statewide catalog. Students often find recently published titles about their topics or use slightly older titles to use as additional resources (you are required to have at least two resources published within the last year, but you may include additional sources). Remember to search for books early (they can take a week or so to arrive at our campuses).