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San Francisco State University
A selective guide to information sources available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Get the Earth & Climate Sciences Research Guide Here

The following bibliography is a selective guide to information sources for the earth and climate sciences disciplines available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.  To view the entire research guide, simply click on the Geosciences Research Guide link below.  The lists of relevant online reference books, recommended databases, and selected Internet sites are duplicated following that link.

Online Reference books

  • Climate Change: An Encyclopedia of Science and History. Brian C. Black, general editor
    This encyclopedia was published by ABC-CLIO in 2013. The articles in this encyclopedia go "beyond pure science to consider other important factors, weighing the cultural, historical, and policy-driven contributors to this issue."
  • Climate Change: a Reference Handbook. By David Leonard Downie
    This handbook was published by ABC-CLIO in 2009. It outlines key scientific, economic, and political issues. It also reviews how the global community has addressed the issue to date, and discusses the options being explored for further action.
  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World. Saul B. Cohen, editor
    This encyclopedia was published by Columbia University Press in 1998. It is the "standard source of information about the geography of the world"
  • Encyclopedia of Caves. Edited by Willam B. White and David C. Culver
    This encyclopedia was was published by Academic Press in 2012. The encyclopedia's 128 articles are on the entire range of speleological study. The articles are divided into 15 general subjects areas,which are: "1. Types of Caves 2. Cave features 3. Hydrology and Hydrogeology 4. Speleothems and other cave deposits 5. Cave ages and paleoclimate 6. Exceptional caves 7. Biology of particular organisms in caves 8. Ecology 9. Cave invasion 10. Biogeography and Diversity 11. Evolution and Adaptation in Caves 12. Exploration of Caves 13. Contemporary use of caves 14. Historical use of caves 15. Ground water contamination and land use hazards in cave regions."
  • Encyclopedia of Earth and Space Science. By Timothy M. Kusky  
    This encyclopedia was published by Facts on File in 2010. It contains 250 entries covering concepts, theories, subdisciplines, methods, techniques, important people, and other topics related to earth and space science. Examples of entries include Biosphere; Dark matter; Deserts; Earthquakes; Geophysics; Hubble; Mesozoic; North American geology; Ozone hole; Quasar; and Supernova.
  • Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes. By Alexander E. Gates
    The third edition of this encyclopedia was published by Facts on File in 2007. The approximately 1,500 entries explain the specific terms and concepts associated with the sciences of catastrophe-seismology and volcanology. Entries include terms and concepts such as: caldera, stratovolcano, S-waves, liquefaction, harmonic tremors, and much more. A chronology or earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is included as well.
  • Encyclopedia of Geology. Richard C.Selley, L. Robin M. Cocks, and Ian R. Plimer, editors
    This encyclopedia was published by Elsevier in 2005. It is divided into 340 articles, each covering one aspect of geology. It "covers all aspects of geology including earth history, earth materials, surface processes, regional geology, economic geology, engineering geology, petroleum geology, geochemical and mineral exploration, and the history of geology. The techniques of remote sensing and other tools of investigation that have advanced rapidly over the last few decades are described in detail."
  • Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences. John H., Steele, editor in chief
    This six-volume encyclopedia was published by Elsevier in 2001. Topics covered range from the study of atmospheric input of pollution to the effects of waves on beaches.
  • Global Warming Desk Reference. By Bruce E. Johansen
    This handbook was published by Greenwood Press in 2002. It "surveys the scientific consensus on the issue, describes recent findings, and also considers the arguments of skeptics who doubt that global warming is a threat."
  • Handbook of Geoscience. By Frank R. Spellman and Melissa L. Stoudt
    This handbook was publisher by Scarecrow Press in 2013. It "is a user-friendly overview of our physical, biological and ecological environment that offers up-to-date coverage of the major scientific fields that in combination form the structure of geoscience." The handbook's chapters are as follows: "Basic math operations; Force and motion; Work, energy, and momentum; Circular motion and gravity; Thermal properties and states of matter; The atmosphere; Moisture in the atmosphere; Atmosphere in motion; Meteorology: the science of weather; Climate change; Earth's structure; Minerals; Igneous rocks & magna eruption; Sedimentary rocks; Metamorphism and deformation; Weathering; Wind erosion, mass wasting, and desertification; Glaciation; Earthquakes; Plate tectonics; Historical geology; Earth's blood; All about water; Stream systems; Lakes; Oceans and their margins; Soil: earth's skin and tissue; Earth's life-forms and interrelationships; Measuring Earth."
  • Handbook of Meteorology. By Frank R. Spellman
    This handbook was published by Scarecrow Press in 2013. It "starts with the basics of weather-temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind-before moving on to cover highs, lows, fronts, and storms, and finally ending with a look at weather forecasts, cloud watching, weather tools, and much more."
  • Water Encyclopedia: Hydrologic Data and Internet Resources. Pedro Fierro, Jr. and Evan K. Nyer, editors
    The third edition of this encyclopedia was published by CRC/Taylor & Francis in 2007. It "contains more than 1100 tables and 500 figures providing data related to weather, surface water, ground water, water use, water quality, waste water, pollution, and water resource management."
  • Water: Science and Issues. E. Julius Dasch, editor in chief
    This four-volume encyclopedia was published by Macmillan Reference USA in 2004. The encyclopedia's 300 essays are organized into 28 categories. Topics covered include: Acid rain, Beaches, Careers in oceanography, Energy from the Ocean, Ice Ages, Plate tectonics, and Waves.

Recommended Databases

  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCOHost)  
    Dates vary. This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent source for articles from the core geology journals. Click on the blue "i" icon for list of selected titles.
  • Applied Science & Technology Abstracts
    1913-date. This is an excellent starting point for finding articles from core journals on geologic, meteorological, or energy resources topics.
  • Engineering Village 2
    Site provides access to the Compendex database (1969-present) which comprehensively indexes journals, technical reports, books, and conference proceedings in all of the engineering disciplines. This is an excellent resource for engineering geology topics.
  • Environment Complete
    1950-date. Covers "applicable areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more"
  • GeoRef
    1785-date. Comprehensively indexes the earth science, paleontological, and paleobiology literature. Journal
    articles, books, dissertations, state and United States Geological Survey publications are all indexed.
  • Oceanic Abstracts
    1981-date. Topics covered include: physical oceanography, marine geology, geophysics, and geochemistry.
  • Web of Science Core Collection
    1900- . This is one of the Web of Science databases. To access this database, type in the words "Web of Science" in the Search for Database Name box. You will get one result. Click on that link. You are now at the home page for all of the Web of Science databases. You now need to use the All Databases pulldown menu, and select Web of Science Core Collection. This database indexes scholarly journals in all disciplines. Use this database to conduct cited reference searches (that is, search for articles that cite a specific author or article) by changing the pulldown next to the words Basic Search to Cited Reference Search.

Selected Internet Sites

  • Access USGS - San Francisco Bay and Delta
    This site brings together USGS publications, etc. on the San Francisco Bay & Delta from many disciplines.
  • California. Department of Connservation. California Geological Survey
  • dmoz, Open Directory: Earth Sciences
    This web site states that the "Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web." The listing of Earth Sciences web sites is subdivided into the following categories: Atmospheric Sciences, Geochemistry, Geology, Geomatics, Geophysics, Natural Disasters and Hazards, Oceanography, Paleogeography and Paleroclimatology, Paleontology, Quaternary Studies, and Soils.
  • Drought Risk Atlas
    This web site is supported by the National Drought Mitigation Center. It is intended to provide users with access to "historical drought information and a web-based tool to visualize and assess their risk to drought." This project is funded under a grant from the Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) of the NOAA-Climate Program Office. Additional funding was provided by the NIDIS Program Office and the USDA-Risk Management Service (RMA).
  • Galaxy: Einet
    This site contains mega-links to geosciences servers organized by the following categories: geology and geophysics; meteorology; geochemistry; and hydrology.
  • Geologic Guidebooks of North America Database
    This database is maintained by the American Geosciences Institute. "The database consists of references to geologic field trip guidebooks of North America. Most of the guidebooks cited are from the period 1940-1988."
  • Geologic Time: the Story of a Changing Earth
    This website is produced by the National Museum of Natural History and is an interactive timeline of geological history from the Hadean eon to the present day.
  • Geological Society of America
    This site is a megalist of geology and earth science web sites, including a dictionary of earth science terms, a printable geologic time scale, a printable mineral identification chart, information regarding jobs and career possibilities, satellite images, and maps.
  • GeologyLink
    This site is a public forum for "all matters geological."
  • Northern California Earthquake Data Center (NCEDC)
    "NCEDC is a long-term archive and distribution center for seismological and geodetic data for Northern and Central California."
    This is a bibliographic database produced by the MCEER (Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research) Information Service.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Regional Database
    This site contains USGS Digital Data for the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • USGS National Geologic Lexicon Database (GEOLEX)
    GEOLEX is a search tool for lithologic and geochronologic unit names in the United States and its possessions and territories. You can search by geologic age, location, and unit name.
  • Virtual Field Trip Guides
    This site is maintained by the Walter Geology Library and the University of Texas and provides links to online field guides for the entire United States.
  • WWW Virtual LIbrary: Earth Science
    This site is a megalist of Internet sites divided into the following categories: Cartography History; Diamond and Fine Jewelry Virtual Library, Geotechnical Engineering, Oceanography, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Remote Sensing, Stone Sculpture, and Urban Environmental Management.

Other Libraries

Other libraries located in northern California that may be helpful are:

Science Librarian

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Caroline Harnly
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