Resources for Sustainability Research
About this Guide
This resource has been created by the Luria Library faculty, in conjunction with Environmental Science students and the staff of the Center for Sustainability at Santa Barbara City College, to provide information about and access to materials on campus, online and in the community in the areas of sustainability.
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Keywords to Use in Searches
The study of sustainability can be complicated by the many related subject terms. The following list of standard terms can help your searches find more relevant results.
Capitalism — Environmental aspects — United States
Conservation of natural resources
Economic development — Environmental aspects
Industrial management — Environmental aspects.
Nature conservation — United States
Population — Environmental aspects
Social responsibility of business
Sustainable development — International cooperation
Print Reference Books
These books are available in the Luria Library Reference section and contain background information. Find them at the call number listed below:
Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability — R 363.7003 S964b 2010
Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage — R 363.72803 Z76e 2012
Encyclopedia of Environmental Isues — R 363.7003 A4346e 2011
Encyclopedia of pollution — R 363.73 G259e 2011
Encyclopedia of Sustainability — R 363.7003 C699e 2010
Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment: History, Policy, and Politics — R 363.7056 L753e 2011
Encyclopedia of Water Politics and Policy in the United States — R 333.91 D196e 2011
Online Reference Sources
The library also subscribes to some online reference sources, including the following general reference database. To access this resource from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline account information.
Searching for Books
Search the library catalog (books+) for print books and ebooks on sustainability topics. Check the keywords tab in this guide for suggestions about how to search.
Search for articles on your topic in our library databases:
Academic Search Complete
Provides full text for more than 8,500 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), including full text for nearly 7,300 peer-reviewed titles, in all subject areas. The database includes PDF content going back as far as 1887. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.
Science Full Text Select
Provides full text for more than 400 journals dating as far back as 1994. Subject coverage includes agriculture & agricultural research, atmospheric science, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, botany, chemistry, environmental science, geology, marine biology microbiology, physics and much more.
An excellent source of pro/con information, providing opinions and other information on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues. Includes continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.
An excellent source of pro/con information, containing single-themed reports on issues in the news. Provides in-depth, unbiased coverage of both sides of controversial issues.
Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible.
The Biomass Power Association
The nation’s leading organization working to expand and advance the use of clean, renewable biomass power.
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
Local information on permaculture and the practicality of bio-fuels.
Sustainable Energy: Without the Hot Air
A book by David McKay (downloadable PDF file) regarding sustainable energy and policy.
The Thorium Energy Alliance
A nonprofit, educational advocacy organization composed of engineers, scientists, and concerned citizens interested in reducing the cost of energy and protecting the health of the planet. Their objective is to lay the foundation for a Thorium energy future, which is a new type of sustainable energy.
Edible Santa Barbara
Local food and wine magazine.
Orfalea Foundation’s School Food
A business-minded, entrepreneurial approach to school food reform.
United States Department of Agriculture
Topics include conservation and organic agriculture.
Yale Sustainable Food Program
Promoting food-literate leaders on farms, in classrooms, and around the world.
SBCC’s Zero Waste and Awareness Program Description
Designed to reduce waste and maximize re-use and recycling practices by providing greater opportunities for participation and education.
The Climate Institute
Innovative and practical solutions for climate change adaptation, mitigation, and climate stabilization based on scientific research and collaboration among policymakers, scientists, the public and environmental institutions at the local, national, and international levels.
Earth Policy Institute
Cited by environmental advocates, policymakers and journalists alike, the Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides articles, data resources, and free downloadable books on their website.
Public Policy Institute of California
A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.
A website created by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) organization, based in Santa Barbara, that supports the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The Story of Stuff Project
Articles, movies, podcasts, and resources about sustainability and the environment.
Sea Level Rise Viewer
Hosted by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), this web mapping tool helps visualize coastal flooding due to climate change.
PMEL Carbon Program
A website created by PMEL (Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory) to spread knowledge about ocean acidification, ocean carbon uptake, ocean carbon storage, and coastal carbon dynamics. There are many research-based articles on this site.
Is Sea Level Rising?
Hosted by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), this web page provides credible information and links about sea level change from climate change, including local sea level trends.
U.S. Geological Survey Water Quality Information
Provides scientific and technical expertise, leadership, and coordination in addressing issues concerning the quality of the Nation’s water resources. This particular site addresses information about water quality, groundwater, and coastal zones.
Local Organizations and Agencies:
Community Environmental Council
Local programs for clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems, and reduction of single-use plastic.
SBCC Center for Sustainability
Our Mission is to initiate and support sustainability on our campus, in our curriculum, and in our community.
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
Local permaculture information.
Alexander Street Press Videos
Provides online access to nearly 43,000 academic videos (over 20,000 hours) in a wide range of subjects and disciplines, including environmental sustainability.
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power (Daniel Yergin 2016)
A film about the history of the oil industry from Rockefeller to the Gulf War.
The Story of Stuff Project
Contains articles, movies, podcasts, and resources about sustainability and the environment.
Cadillac Desert (Jon Else and Linda Harrar 1997)
A film about the drought in California’s Central Valley, disappearing groundwater, and what Americans have been doing to preserve the water that is left.
Podcasts can provide information on current social issues. The following news interview shows often touch on issues in sustainability:
NPR Environment Radio Station
This is the National Public Radio channel dealing with the current environmental issues around the world.
On Point and Talk of the Nation
From NPR, National Public Radio
A trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science.
Science Times Podcast
The New York Times “Science News” page.
Story of Stuff
Accurate articles, movies, podcasts, and resources regarding sustainability and the environment.
Below are some resources for creating citations for sources found on the internet and through library databases. More resources are available on the Citation Guides page.
Keep the conversation going, online and in person:
The SBCC Center for Sustainability is the continuation of a collaborative effort among Continuing Education led by Kris Power, local community organizations, the Environmental Studies program, the Student Sustainability Coalition, and other SBCC staff members. Education in environmental and social responsibility has long been a focus of SBCC and the surrounding community.
Second Nature works to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education. This organization accelerates movement toward a sustainable future by serving and supporting college students and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.