The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Research Guide for Biology and Environmental Science

Biology and Environmental Science cover a wide range of sub-topics. 


For print reference resources, the Library has Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia as well as The encyclopedia of animals. The Library also has many books about zoology, from tiny insects to huge whales. 

For online information about animals, there are many websites devoted to animal life and habitat protection. Here are just a sample:

The Endangered Species Homepage was created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The site contains lists of endangered species by state and has a section for kids as well as many other resources.

All About Birds is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, an online guide to birds and birdwatching. 

North American Mammals is from the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian. It has several searchable databases as well as maps and special collections.


The Library reference collection includes print encyclopedias such as Magill's encyclopedia of science : plant life.

There is an expanding number of scientific websites about biology. Here are some samples:

Encyclopedia of Life is a global database for knowledge about life on earth. Its mission states it has been designed to increase awareness and understanding of living nature. It has recent science news articles and an online community of scientists who post their experiences on the site.

The Tree of Life project is "a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world." It contains links to more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages and the project provides information about biodiversity and the characteristics of different groups of organisms.

The World's Biomes is produced by the University of California Museum of Paleontology. A biome is classified as a major regional or global biotic community which is characterized by the dominant forms of plant life and the previaling climate.

Environmental Science

EPA is the home page of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It has sections devoted to science, health, education and the environment.

Global Climate Change is an exploratorium of the topic sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Full of maps and charts, the site provides interesting facts about how the Earth's climate is constantly changing.

Timelapse shows how the surface of the earth has been changing in 30 years of satellite photography. "The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail," the site says. Earthshots sponsored by the United States Geological Survey Service has similar images.

For in-depth research, the Library's databases such as Academic Search Elite*, the Research in Context (formerly Discovering Collection)*, Gale Virtual Reference Library* and the Science Reference Center* cover all aspects of biology and environmental science.

The Library has an extensive collection of scientific reference books in the system, and librarians will be happy to assist you in your information search. You can also use the online Library catalog to find books about the natural world.

* Library card required for use outside the Library

Find this article at