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Overviews & Background
Environmental Studies (Gale In Context)
The Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources focuses on the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues. Covers energy systems, health care, agriculture, climate change, population, and economic development.
CDC National Center for Environmental Health
CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) plans, directs, and coordinates a national program to maintain and improve the health of the American people by promoting a healthy environment and by preventing premature death and avoidable illness and disability caused by non-infectious, non-occupational environmental and related factors.
National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
Background on common diseases and conditions that evidence shows may be strongly linked to environmental exposures and chemicals or factors in the environment to which humans are exposed that may cause adverse health effects.
Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health
Objectives, interventions, data and more on the Health People 2020 Environmental Health program from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of HHS.
WHO Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health
Factsheets, data, background and more on programs from the World Health Organization to promote a healthier environment, intensify primary prevention and influence public policies in all sectors so as to address the root causes of environmental and social threats to health.
Read about symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention for over 900 diseases, illnesses, health conditions and wellness issues from the National Institutes of Health.
GreenFile offers information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. Its collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
Useful Background Summaries
Good place to begin research on current topics. Covers the most current and controversial issues of the day with complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, bibliographies and more. Updated weekly.
Online Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
The Gale Encyclopedia of Environmental Health
The Gale Encyclopedia of Environmental Health covers events, environmental health statutes, diseases/conditions, environmental health policy issues, as well offering biographical sidebars on key figures in environmental health.
Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy
Examines the philosophical and ethical issues underlying contemporary and historical environmental issues, policies, and debates. More than 300 peer-reviewed articles cover concepts, institutions, topics, events and people, including global warming, animal rights, environmental movements, alternative energy, green chemistry, industrial ecology, and eco-sabotage.
Encyclopedia of Public Health
The Encyclopedic of Public Health presents the most important definitions, principles and general perspectives of public health, written by experts of the different fields. Entries comprise review-style articles, detailed essays and short definitions.
The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine
This Companion is a fascinating and authoritative guide to the field of medicine and its specialties. More than 200 contributors have contributed over 500 substantial articles and many more shorter ones, ranging from "abortion" to "zygote".
Smarter Google Searching
Google can be a great resource for finding overviews, reports, and government information. But a basic Google search is going to bring back a lot of biased junk, conspiracy theories, and more. Search Google smarter by adding your own keyword(s) to the preformatted Google search below which will limit results to US government sites.
How to Maximize Reference Sources
References sources, particularly specialized encyclopedias, offer many benefits. Consider the following tips as you review a reference source on your topic to reap all the benefits and make your researching even better.
- Get definitions and background - Reference sources assume that you are new to a topic. Jargon and specialized terminology will be explained and contextualized, which you might not get in more advanced books and journal articles.
- Get caught-up on a topic - Research is a conversation, and often it has been going on for years. Reference sources will provide a historical background and identify key developments to help you understand how we got to the current understandings and theories.
- Identify key people and theories - Who are the most important people and ideas on your topic? Reference sources will help you identify them so you can explore their lives and research more deeply.
- Find more sources - Reference sources will provide additional reading, usually in the form of references or background lists. These are a great next-step in your research process.