Subject Guides

What is the problem? Definitions and Orientation

 Wikipedia - use for topic exploration, getting definitions, and for finding sources (in the References and Further Reading sections)

- Good place to start research
Problems and Solutions

- articles explaining the science behind environmental issues and problems

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions - good source for basic information, with charts and explanations. Also, ideas for bringing environmental issues into grade school classes.

 Encyclopedia of Global Change  -   altered ecosystems, climate change, food and water supply, population, politics and global change, institutions and policies, biographies, and case studies

Encyclopedia of Global Change  (Ref 550 G723)

Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change  (Ref 550 M925) 5 vols. New York: Wiley, c2002.

McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Online

Environmental Protection Indicators for California 

Wiley Encyclopedia of Environmental Pollution and Cleanup  (Ref 333.72 M576) 2 vols. New York: Wiley, c1999.

Encyclopedia of Biodiversity  (Ref 333.95 L578) 5 vols. San Diego: Academic Press, 2001.

Books and Articles

Saint Mary's College online library catalog

- Excellent for analyses of public issues & laws. Articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, and publications of international agencies.

  - lots of articles from lots of periodicals, scholarly and not-so-scholarly. Use Advanced Search.

- Click on News in the left column to select type of news source, e.g. newspaper and wire service,  TV and radio.



Geographic and Numerical Data / Statistics

Atlas of Global Development

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -what's happening in the environment of California and the rest of the country

 Environmental Protection Indicators for California

Trends - A Compendium of Data on Global Change (climate changes, global warming, greenhouse gases)

 World Resources Institute - Reports and working papers analyzing environmental issues.

Documentaries on Environmental Issues

See website:


  • A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash(2006): This documentary looks at our addiction to oil and the inevitable chaos that's sure to ensue once it runs out. The film outlines the challenge while highlighting our desperate need for an alternative energy source.
  • An Inconvenient Truth (2006): It’s an obvious pick, but this doc is a great primer on global warming. Its message is sobering, true, but Gore says that if we act boldly, quickly, and wisely, we can solve this climate crisis.
  • Drowned Out: this documentary tells the true story of one family's inspired stand against the destruction of their land, homes, and culture. The villagers had three choices: Move to the slums in the city; relocate to a barren resettlement site with no drinking water; or stay at home and drown.
  • Earth Days: Seeds of Revolution: a history of earth day and the environmental movement
  • Encounters at the End of the World: Welcome to Antarctica - like you've never experienced it. You've seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning, iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) to be the first to explore the South Pole's most fascinating inhabitants...humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, "professional dreamers" who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty - perhaps the last frontier on earth
  • Flow (limited showing in theaters): This award winning documentary builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's fresh water supply, asking the question, “Can anyone really own water?
  • Heat(available online): This Frontline documentary investigates how the world's largest corporations and governments are responding to Earth's looming environmental disaster and examines whether major corporations and governments are up to the challenge.
  • Planet Earth(2007): This Emmy-winning series travels the world to show the connection between all animals, big or small. The beautifully scenic shots alone will give you a renewed appreciation for all things great and small.
  • Planet in Peril (2007): Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Jeff Corwin travel 13 countries in this two-part documentary on some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, including global warming, species extinction, and water pollution.
  • The 11th Hour (2007) : When dealing with the global warming crisis, think big. That’s the message behind this global warming documentary that offers exciting and radical solutions from leading scientists and innovators to help save the planet from total climate catastrophe.
  • The End of Suburbia (2004):The white picket fence never seemed so threatening. This documentary takes a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of suburbia, and asks whether this lifestyle can ever be truly sustainable.
  • The Killing Ground: ABC news documentary about the disaster at the Love Canal in 1978.
  • Trashed: This is the story of garbage...American Style Documentar investigation of the garbage business and American lifestyle of consumerism.
  • Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) : If you think that electric cars are a new idea, think again. This documentary goes back to the mid-90s to dig out the GM EV1 electric car, a popular green vehicle quickly buried by auto industries and greedy politicians.



A Civil Action (1998): In this true story, John Travolta defies stereotypes about out-for-themselves personal injury lawyers. Sticking his own neck out, he sues a major corporation for contaminating a town’s drinking water with industrial solvents.

Erin Brokovich (2000): Based on a true story, Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovich, a small-town gal who takes on chemical company PG&E after coming across suspicious medical records from a nearby town. It’s that rare tale of David taking on Goliath, and winning.

Silkwood(1983) : The true-life account of Karen Silkwood (played by Meryl Streep), an Oklahoma nuclear plant worker who blew the whistle on her company’s dangerous practices, then mysteriously “disappeared.”

Citing your sources

APA Style Guide The Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association is available in the library reference and reserves collection at Call # 150.149 Am35b. In addition, the library subscribes to the APA Style Guide to Electronic References for formatting rules that apply to resources not found in the print manual.

MLA Style Guide The Modern Languages Association

 Writing Help

English Department Writing Center

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1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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