Skip to Main Content

Energy Social Sciences: Environment

This guide...

Environmental resources across discpliines. For more information: contact your departmental liasion librarian about more environmental resources and research options in your areas of study.


Ecology and History Timeline

Magill, Frank N., ed.
Great Events From History II: Ecology and the Environment Series, Salem Press, Pasadena CA; Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1994
A 5-volume timeline covering environmental events in detail from 1905-1994.
HUNT STACKS-2 GE150.G72 1995

Featured Databases

For more databases go to the Databases tab in this guide or search CMU Libraries Databases A-Z.

undefinedEnvironmental Issues Online Multimedia materials (text, archival primary sources, video and audio) around key environmental challenges, including climate change, water/air pollution, biodiversity, conservation, agriculture, deforestation and more. The database is curated around specific environmental issues and events from the 20th and 21st centuries. Database Guide

Find chemical hazard and toxicology content in this free resource integrating ten of the most commonly used databases from TOXNET.  Note that the NLM (National Library of Medicine) discontinued their TOXNET website, retired some content and moved other content to other NIH (National Institutes of Health) websites. You can find those separate links here. 


Politico is an American political-journalism company based in Arlington County, Virginia, that covers politics and policy in the United States. Covers Energy and Health as well as Agriculture, Budget & Appropriations Brief, Campaigns, Cybersecurity, Defense, Education, Europe Brief, Financial Services, Labor & Employment, Tax, Technology, Trade, Transportation, Transition 2017 and DataPoint.

An excellent way to gain a broad understanding and/or in-depth coverage of social, political and environmental topics covered in the news.   Reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Includes full-length articles with overviews, historical background, chronologies, pro/con featuares and more.


GlobalData Power (formerly Alternative Energy eTrack)
Covers the alternate/renewable energy industries : wind, hydro, solar, ocean, geothermal, biofuels, fuel cells, nuclear, carbon trading, etc. Includes news, deals, analysis, forecasts, and more.


Environment & Energy Publishing
Coverage of environmental, energy and climate policy with five daily online publications.


A highly regarded market research database providing extensive industry reports which include environmentally related industrie. Includes forecasts, statistical and analytical information on the markets, applications, industry structure, major players, market shares, industry dynamics, technology and international developments.   Other databases with comparable quality that might be used in conjunction with BCC include Gartner, Frost and Sullivan, and IBISWorld.


OECD iLibrary
Online library of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development providing access to journals articles, working papers, multi-lingual summaries, e-book titles, book chapters, databases and  thousands of tables and graphs. Explore all of its aspects or limit to theme such as OECD ILibrary: Environment.  As of 2015 also inlcudes
IEA: International Energy Agency  databases with extensive historical and current/statistical data on emissions from fuel combustion, coal, electricity, energy prices, energy technology, natural gas, oil, renewables, world energy statistics and balances.


Featured Journals

For more journal literature, search CMU Libraries Databases A-Z If you know the title of the journal, go to Journal Search.

Into the Woods,  a special issue of Harvard Design Magazine ( 45, Spring/Summer 2018) "...treks into the woods to come to terms with its precarious status as habitat and resource, and to challenge assumptions about wood as material. We won’t be “out of the woods”—this looping conundrum—any time soon, even if the woods as we once knew it, and might still imagine it, has ceased to exist. At the intersection of wilderness, urbanization, and myth, “Into the Woods” embraces contradiction, challenges destruction, and revisits our roots, biological and architectural alike.'

Environment & Behavior
Examines relationships between human behavior and the natural and built

Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science, 1869-present

Nature Climate Change

A monthly journal publishing original research on the science of climate change and its impacts and wider implications for the economy, society and policy.

Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions
Interdisciplinary journal spanning the social and natural sciences

Global Environmental Change: Environmental Hazards

Global Environmental Politics
Analysis of political issues impacting environmental management from the local to global levels. 

Open Access
International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice and Peace
A peer-reviewed journal on the theory and practice of engineering equity, non-oppressive and non-violent approaches.

Books, e-Books


Matthews, H. Scott et. al. Life Cycle Assessment: Quantitative Approaches for Decisions That Matter.
A free downloadable textbook from

Goudie, Andrew. Human Impact on the Natural Environment : Past, Present and Future . Eighth edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2019
HUNT OVRSZQ-3 GF75 .G68 2019


McNabb, David E. Global Pathways to Water Sustainability . Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Jjemba, Patrick K. Pharma-Ecology : the Occurrence and Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment . Second edition. Hoboken, NJ: WILEY, 2019


Weintraub, Linda. What’s Next? : Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art . Bristol, UK ;: Intellect, 2019.
HUNT STACKS-4 N6498 .E26 W45 2019

Shevock, D. (2018). Eco-literate music pedagogy . New York, NY: Routledge.
HUNT STACKS-4 (Stacks 4th Floor) ML3799.3 .S54 2018


Dutch, Steven, ed. Encyclopedia of Climate Change. Ipswich, Massachusetts : Salem Press, a division of EBSCO Information Services, Inc. ; Amenia, NY : Grey House Publishing, 2016. 2nd edition

Open Access Books on JSTOR  
The content in this collection  covers important issues in the fields of security, health, education, sustainability, and more.


Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change: Challenges, Opportunities and Evidence Gaps

Proceedings of the European Conference of Biodiversity and Climate Change, 2017
The conference focus: how nature contributes to all dimensions (physical, psychological and social) of human health and well-being in light of rising temperatures and other effects of climate change. Jointly organised by the German Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) in co-operation with the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) / German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). The event was co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.



Semiotics in the Wild: Essays in honor of Kalevi Kul on the ocassion of his 60th birthday.
Department of Semiotics, Tartu University Press, 2012
Twenty innovative articles by internationally renowned biosemioticians, Kalevi Kull’s co-thinkers and students. Among topics shared by many articles are attention to the borders of biosemiotics while pointing to the connectedness of the subject matter of biosemiotics and the human cultural sphere, emphasis on the dialogic nature of academic theories as well as human lives, and focus on the identity of biosemiotics and its ethical implications.

Local News and initiatives


Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center This link opens in a new windoOpen data portal of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny county providing free access to regional datasets on a wide range of topic including the environment.

Climate Pathways: Imaginaries Lab Research Through Design

  • Friday November 22, 5.30pm–7.30pm: Exhibition opening and project demos
  • Saturday November 23, 10.00am–5.00pm: Exhibition open to visit
  • Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Room 121

Three Rivers Urban Soils Symposium
Phipps Conservatory, November 22, 2019


One Health and the Future of Food, the 3rd Annual One Health One Planet held at Phipps Conservatory in March of 2019 is now online including video and written summaries sharing new insights on the human, animal and ecological impacts of food and diet in regard to large-scale agriculture, plant-based diets and diet trends, antibiotics and pesticides in foods and more. Note that the excellent 2018 Symposium on Chemicals of Concern in the Environment is also online!


Neil Donohue, Professor of Chemistry, Engineering and Public Policy and the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research is now University Professor, the highest rank bestowed on CMU faculty.



CMU Professor and Head of the School of Design Terry Irwin has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2019 from Emily Carr University in recognition of her substantial contributions in education. She spearheaded  "Transition Design"  with Gideon Kossoff and Cameron Tonkinwise, which inculcates sustainable research and practice into the Design curriculum.

The EcoInnovation District Project is underway in Pittsburgh..Here's the Final Plan.

Featured international initiatives

SCIMAP - Diffuse Pollution Risk Mapping
A framework for modelling and mapping diffuse pollution risk across landscapes developed at Durham University. This site provides a basic description of the science base being developed, illustrating the SCIMAP approach and how it works, plus material for further learning about the approac h. You can download the SCIMAP software for Windows or use the web based my.scimap tool.

The WaterHub is an on-site water recycling system on the Emory University campus which utilizes eco-engineering processes to clean waste water for future non-potable uses.  It is the first system of its kind to be installed in the United States. Emory’s WaterHub is capable of recycling up to 400,000 gallons-per-day –nearly 40% of Emory’s total campus water needs.

Local Past Conferences of Note



2020 Nature of Place Symposium at Phipps Conservatory
February 19-20.
"The goals of the Nature of Place Symposium are to explore the human experience of biophilia, highlight the values and importance of the concept of a biophilic city, and build excitement and appreciation for the importance of green space in cities. We are interested in sharing with a broad variety of audiences, including scientists, physicians, architecture and green building professionals, community officials and organizers, educators, and students."


Online documentation of the conference, One Health One Planet: Health Impacts: Chemicals of Concern in the Environment  (March 7-8 2018) is now available through the Phipps Conservatory website.  In this resource, contributors present video, audio, written summaries and more to take you inside this important gathering. Watch the overview video.


June 1, 2019
Dark Skies Conference, Simmons Auditorium, Tepper

Experts talk about light pollution in terms of saftey, astronomical research, human health, nightime ecosystem disruption, energy savings and Pittsburgh's LED streelights includes documentary film "Saving the Dark."

GRIST environmental news