Adaptations to human environmental impact: Semester in Dialogue

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Ebony Magnus, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or

Research sources for adaptations to human environmental impact

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place.

Books, articles and websites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

1. Books, ebooks, films, music, sound, slides

Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Surrey - SFU Surrey).

  • Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
  • Try the following SUBJECT headings: (To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.)
    • Biodiversity
    • Conservation of natural resources
    • Climatic changes
    • Energy conservation
    • Energy policy
    • Environmental degradation
    • Environmental impact analysis
    • Environmental policy
    • Environmental protection
    • Global warming
    • Global environmental change
    • Nature -- effect of human beings on
    • Sustainable development
    • Renewable energy sources

    Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by selecting Belzberg Collection from the main search screen. You can also use ADVANCED KEYWORD search. Select Belzberg Library in the COLLECTION field to include online resources. Select Belzberg Library (Downtown/Harbour Centre) in the LOCATION field for items physically at Belzberg Library.
  • If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it!
  • Find electronic books, films, dvds, cds or slides on your topic by searching specific collections or by using ADVANCED KEYWORD search and selecting the appropriate format in the FORMAT field.
  • For a step-by-step guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.

2. Journal and newspaper articles

  • All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue. Electronic journals are also listed in the Electronic Journals Database by title, subject and by the association/organization who publishes the journal.
  • Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request photocopies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Use the appropriate subject lists to identify the most useful databases for your topic.
  • Suggested article databases for Adaptations to Human Environmental Impact:
    • Academic Search Premier - Multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
    • Agricola (US National Agriculture Library) - Citations in all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines.
    • Business Source Complete - Full text for over 3700 business journals in all business areas, at least 1000 of which are scholarly/peer-reviewed.
    • Canadian Newsstream - Full text of major Canadian newspapers. Includes local community papers.
    • Canadian Electronic Library - Monograph publications from policy and research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres.
    • CBCA Complete - Multidisciplinary index to Canadian journals and magazines.
    • ECONLIT - Covers economic aspects of the environment and natural resources.
    • GEOBASE - Key human and physical geography database with interdisciplinary coverage for researching environmental issues.
    • Humanities and Social Sciences Index - Covers basic periodicals on all social sciences and humanities topics.
    • Sociological Abstracts - Index to major sociology journals and research resources.
    • Web of Science - Index to 8500 international journals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, plus the ability to do citation searching.
    • World Development Indicators - Provides access to over 600 development indicators including economic, social, environmental, business, and technology for more than 208 countries.
  • Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database.
  • For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
  • For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.

3. Statistics and government websites

4. Selected internet sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use one of the web search engines such as Google or to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's World Wide Web Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - An independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice, including the environment and climate change.
  • Climate Ark - Climate change and global warming portal.
  • Conservation International - a collection of websites about biodiversity conservation. A new analysis of biodiversity hotspots identifies 34 most threatened regions worldwide as environmental emergency rooms of our planet.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity - Multi-governmental pact that promotes nature and human well-being.
  • David Suzuki Foundation - Promote solutions that conserve nature and help achieve sustainability. Also includes section on the impacts of climate change in B.C.
  • Earth Portal Community - Is a free, social networking site on environmental issues.. Includes the Encyclopedia of Earth.
  • Ecological Footprint - Introduces a new approach to measuring how much of the Earth's carrying capacity it takes to sustain humanity’s consumption of goods and services.
  • Envirolink - An online community with links to thousands of online environmental resources.
  • GLOBIO - Mapping the human impact on the biosphere.
  • Center for Ecoliteracy - Dedicated to education for sustainable living, including food, culture, health and the environment
  • PEW Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions - A non-profit U.S. organization that provides a forum for research and policy development to address climate change.
  • Pembina Institute - Sustainable energy solutions through innovative research, education, consulting and advocacy.
  • World Resources Institute - An environmental think tank that provides independent guidance to policy makers on climate change technology, business engagement, policy design and international issues.
  • World Watch Institute - A leading source of information on the interactions among key environmental, social, and economic trends.
  • Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions.


Ask us!

  • If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.