Sociology: SOC 3480 Environmental Sociology


(my words) Despite the obvious seriousness of the evidence, even
on their own properties, some residents were optimistic, or at
least sanguine about the threat.

(source's words)... Her dog died young and now her
husband, Timothy, jokes that their daughter’s
Easter rabbit has become their miner’s canary.
“If it dies, we’ll know to move away.”

(APA citation)
McNeil, D. G., Jr. (1978, August 2). Upstate waste site may
endanger lives: Abandoned dump in Niagara Falls leaks
possible carcinogens abandoned upstate waste site may
endanger lives. The New York Times, sec. A, p. 1.

​How on earth did I cite this!? look in the next
column over for "Citation Help" -->

Environmental justice (or injustice) research can be approached from many different perspectives, lenses and academic paradigms. Including some sources and excluding others can be overwhelming and give us a lot of anxiety! The library research lessons and assignment will give you a recipe for one style of systematic approach that incorporates several different approaches all synthesized together :-)

Please do contact me for an appointment or just e-mail questions -I'll even entertain a group of you, it is my work to help you with yours!- at

Video 1: Library Quick Tour
Video 2: Keywords & Validating Search Terms with Text Mining


Mini Library Lit. Review Assignment
Synthesizing information from different fields of study can feel overwhelming!  This library assignment is designed to give you an approach that helps make connections merely by stating what the article is about, and then placing them side-by-side.  The finished product can be scaled up easily to fit the requirements of your Environmental Justice project!  (And obviously I'm happy to help, too! :-)

Long-Form Journalism

What is the point-of-view of journalism? Ideally it presents the facts as they're known at the time of publication, and then shows multiple points-of-view -so you, the reader, can make up your mind for yourself. Obviously bias is difficult to shed, so beware as you read and gather sources -but it is great for researching events, public opinion and reaction, and public policy development (among things).

Video 3: Library Assignment Intro & Journalism Sources

Academic Search Premier (heaps of media, trends, newspapers)
Acces World News (heaps of media, trends, newspapers)
Nexis UNI (heaps of media, trends, newspapers)

CQ Researcher (What is important to U.S. voters right now)
US Newsstream (newspapers all across the U.S. -lots of local info, opinion, policy commentary)

New York Times Historic (complete run of the paper)
Wall Street Journal Historic (complete run of the paper)

Science & Engineering Scholarship

(note: these are a mix of scholarly and non-scholarly -take care) Use these to discover the hard quantitative evidence regarding a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from computer science, water and earth sciences to biomedical!

Video 4Library Science & Engineering Search Strategies

Engineering Village (variety of engineering disciplines -good!)
American Chemical Society Journals (impartial quantitative data on disasters, toxicity, etc.)
Association for Computing Machinery Journals (mapping the Congo? Big data for the environment? take a look)
IEEE XPlore (electrical engineering)
NTIS (reports from U.S. government agencies (DOT, EPA, etc.) -if it happened in the U.S. you should find something here)
OnePetro (oil industry technical scholarship)

Scopus (comprehensive and scholarly)
Web of Science (comprehensive and scholarly) 

See Jessica Brieman's Environmental and Sustainability Guide (ask her for help, too, she's great!)

Social Sciences Scholarship

Video 5Library Sociology Search Strategies

Sociological Abstracts (sociology & social work -one of my favorites)
Family & Society Studies Worldwide (a new one to try (new to us at the U))
PsycINFO (psychology, but with many applications in social sciences)
Education Full Text & ERIC (education, family development)
Business Source Premier (business)
PAIS (public policy and analysis)

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (politics)

Good mix of disciplines (generic)
Academic Search Premier (big mash of everything)
Library Catalog: USearch (everything -highly recommended)
JSTOR (classic and mostly scholarly)

Scopus (select a subject area in advanced search or use my sample with your own keywords:  SUBJAREA(SOCI) AND "oil spill" )

Open Web and Government Info

Governments' Publications
(note: these are often created as evidence for funding, so not necessarily scholarly -but look for solid data; there's a lot to see)

If you receive government funding (federal, state or local) you typically have to report on what you did with it.  The U.S. and its states have a tradition of openness in our documentation and there's a lot to find on websites.  Note that historical records exist, but sometimes in an older format like microfilm -so don't be discouraged if it doesn't show up on your first searches -I'm happy to help you track down data. & (indexes federal and some state resources -just try out some keywords)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

There's also: benefits, education, immigration, etc. etc. or the target state you're interested in is a good place to start.


Think Tank, Policy Institute, Research Institute & Others on the Web
(note: these are sometimes helpful, but be wary in using a source until you've verified its authority with your instructor!)

Just like an expert witness in a court, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is also non-profit may perform research and self-publish it on a really great looking website.  It might be unbiased and worthwhile, but it also may be funded by a for-profit company interested in shaping public opinion.  Take care!

search in google (add your topics/keywords, no space after the colon)
policy institute:homelessness
research institute:homelessness

ALSO: Pot luck! (change out my keyword for yours!)
questionnaire:voluntary simplicity

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Dale Larsen

I love to help with your research: from just seeing the assignment, to wrapping up with citation management -drop me a line or come by 1726C on the first floor of the Marriott Library

Send me an e-mail -I'd love to hear from you!

Citation Help

APA Style gettin' you down?  Here's my top picks for 'Citation Management':

(how to use NoodleTools)

EndNote Basic
(how to use EndNote Basic)

(how to use Zotero)

Getting Started

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