Monday, June 27, 2016

Environmental science

Environmental sciences 
  • LCSH
    • Here are entered works on the composite of physical, biological, and social sciences concerned with the conditions of the environment and their effects. 
    • Works on the interrelationship of organisms and their environment, including other organisms are entered under Ecology. Works on the relationship of humans to the natural environment are entered under Human ecology. Works on the relationship of humans to their sociocultural environment are entered under Social ecology. 
“Environmental Science comprises those disciplines, or parts of them, that consider the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the environment. Like the earth and life sciences, it transcends disciplinary boundaries and is concerned with the interactions among processes each of which is best described by a particular discipline. It is the study of natural cycles and systems and their components.” 
Allaby, M. Basics of Environmental Science. 1996 
“Study of how we and other species interact with each other and with the nonliving environment of matter and energy. It is a holistic science that uses and integrates knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology (especially ecology), geology, resource technology and engineering, resource conservation and management, demography, economics, politics and ethics.” 
Miller. Living in the Environment. 
“Environmental Science is the application of scientific knowledge from many disciplines to issues and questions relating to the rapidly increasing population, the sustainability of resource use, degradation caused by pollution and disturbance, and the endangerment and extinction of species and natural systems. As such, it is not geology, zoology, chemistry, or mathematics; it integrates all these disciplines as well as many more.” 
Environmental Science Program. University of Manitoba. 
“The systematic, scientific study of our environment as well as our role in it.” 
Cunningham & Saigo. Environmental Science: A Global Concern. 

Ecology: the relationship of an organism or group of organisms to their environment. 

Environmental science 
  • The study of environmental science includes the fields of ecology, geophysics, geochemistry, forestry, public health, meteorology, agriculture, oceanography, soil science, and mining, civil, petroleum, and power engineering. 
Environmental science is:
  • Highly interdisciplinary o integrating natural science, social sciences, and humanities in a broad, holistic study of the world around us
  • Mission-oriented, problem solving o Seeks new knowledge about (and impacts of humans on) the natural world 
    • Identifies solutions to environmental problems 
      • These solutions often involve human social systems as well as natural science 
Historic roots of nature protection 
Recognizing human misuse of nature is not unique to modern times. 

Plato (4th century B.C.) wrote about how the people of Greece turned their country into a “skeleton of a body wasted by disease.” 

“The problems that overwhelm us today are precisely those we failed to solve decades ago.” M. K. Tolba (199?), former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. 

Some of the earliest scientific studies of environmental damage were carried out in the eighteenth century by: 
  • Stephen Hales (British) – suggested conservation of green plants preserved rainfall (1764).
  • Pierre Poiver (French) – developed forest reserves on Mauritius (1769), 
Pragmatic resource conservation 
George Perkins Marsh – Man and Nature (1864)
  • Warned of ecological damage from destruction of forest resources. Establishment of National Forest Reserve (1873).
Utilitarian conservation
Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot (circa 1905)
  • Framework for national forest, park, and refuge system
  • Pinchot promoted the conservation of natural resources to provide for the “greatest good, for the greatest number (of people) for the longest time.”
  • “The first principle of conservation is development and use of the natural resources now existing on this continent for the benefit of the people who live here now. There may be just as much waste in neglecting the development and use of certain natural resources as there is in their destruction.” (Pinchot) 
Moral and aesthetic nature preservation 
Preserving nature on the basis of moral and aesthetic values has been termed biocentric or “altruistic” preservation 
“The world, we are told, was made for man. A presumption that is totally unsupported by the facts… Nature’s object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them… Why ought man to value himself as more than an infinitely small unit of the one great unit of creation?” 
John Muir, geologist, author and the first president of the Sierra Club 

Nature deserves to exist for its own sake. 
Often at odds with Utilitarian Conservation approach. 

Modern environmentalism 
Modern industrial expansion and development of domestic and defense-related chemicals during and after the Second World War created a new set of environmental problems. 

1962: Rachel Carlson, Silent Spring 
Carlson wrote about chemical pollution and the threats posed to humans and other species. 
  • Wrote about chemical pollution and the threats posed to humans and other species
  • Her warnings awakened the public and engendered a movement of environmentalism, extending previous concerns to include both environmental resources and pollution 
  • Developed for activists, litigation, intervention in regulatory process, use of mass media, promotion of scientific research 
1969: University of Toronto, first undergrad degree in Canada in Environmental Studies 
1971: Greenpeace founded in B.C. 
1972: first Earth Summit
1987: Brundtland Report Our Common Future
  • established the foundation for all future work on sustainable development
1990: International Institute for Sustainable Development established in Canada, headquartered in Winnipeg
1992: Rio Earth Summit 
  • produced a number of conventions:
    • Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 
    • Agenda 21: The United Nations Program of Action from Rio
    • Convention on Biological Diversity 
    • Framework Convention on Climate Change
    • Statement of Forest Principles
1997: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Kyoto Protocol

  • Pre 1960s pollution issues largely concerned with health
  • 1960s public awakening to environmental issues usually local in scale 
  • late 1970s regional, more complex problems
  • 1980s on, global issues 
Current conditions 
  • Planet Earth
  • Environmental dilemmas
    • Population
    • Food shortages 
    • Energy
    • Pollution
Environmental agenda has expanded to include issues such as: 
  • Human population growth
  • Atomic weapons testing
  • Atomic power
  • Fossil fuel extraction and use
  • Recycling
  • Air and water pollution
Global concerns 
  • The movement of global environmentalism recognizes that we must be concerned with the life support system of the whole planet. 
  • Leaders of this movement have been central in bringing global issues to the forefront of the public’s attention 
  • 1992 U.N. “Earth Summit” – international cooperation and awareness of the need for global environmentalism 
A Divided world
  • Rich vs. poor
  • North vs. South 
  • Developed countries vs. Undeveloped countries
    • First, second, third and fourth countries 
Sources of environmental information
  • Environmental groups 
    • Grey literature 
      • Produces reports and brochures 
  • Government 
    • Multiple levels (federal, provincial, municipal, international) 
    • Multiple departments/agencies
    • Obstacles to access include scattering of information, grey literature 
  • Report literature, particularly government reports, can be valuable 
  • Scientific sources
    • Question of reliability/interpretation 
  • Corporate sources 
    • E.g. businesses such as Shell
    • Bias
  • The media 
    • TV and newspapers major source of information on the environment, along with the Internet. Do you trust them anymore? 
Green consumerism 

Monday, June 20, 2016


Malinowsky, H. R. Reference Sources in Science, Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture. Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1994. pp. 41. 
Chemistry is a well-structured science based on historical discoveries developed with the help of mathematics and physics. Pertaining to the composition, structure, properties, interactions, and transformations of matter, chemistry is divided into two major subdivisions: organic and inorganic. Organic chemistry concerns itself with only those compounds that contain carbon—basically living matter while inorganic chemistry is concerned with all of the other elements. These two areas form the basis for all research in the chemical field. Chemists, however, may be physical or analytical chemists or biochemists. Physical chemistry is the marriage of chemistry and physics—the study of the chemical phenomena in solid, liquid, or gaseous states. Analytical chemistry covers the qualitative analysis of chemicals in terms of description of elements, compounds, and structural units, and it is also concerned with the quantitative analysis in terms of measurement of amounts of elements, compounds, or structural units. Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes of all living organisms. 
Research in chemistry is massive. This literature is indexed by the world’s largest English language service, Chemical Abstracts. There are many handbooks covering all aspects of chemical research, and dictionaries are standard resources, especially those that list the thousands of known compounds with detailed descriptions.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chemistry readings

*Culp, F. Bartow. “Ten or so things that every chemistry librarian absolutely, positively has to have to keep from being an absolute plonk.” SLA Chemistry Division E-Newsletter, Winter 2004, 18 (3), 199-20.

URL for April Love’s Top Ten List is now

*Hurt, C.D. Informational Sources in Science and Technology, 3rd Ed. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1998. pp.101-02. 

*Malinowsky, H. R. Reference Sources in Science, Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture. Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1994. p. 41. 

“Spotlight on the Subject Knowledge of Chemistry Librarians: Results of a Survey by Christopher Hooper-Lane,” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, Summer 1999. 

What is Chemistry? 

*Wiggins, Gary. What is Chemical Information? 
Covers in point form: Overview of Chemistry, Chemical Abstracts, Cambridge Structural Database, Beilstein, Handbooks, Guides. 

Bibliographies and Guides to the literature
Cheminfo Designed to help people find and learn how to use chemical information resources on the Internet and elsewhere. 

Chemistry Resource Locator 
Userguide for chemistry and related subjects. Developed as a project to help provide help when a chemistry librarian was not available. From University of California Irvine. Last updated Sept. 15, 1998. Includes a guide for frequently asked questions, directional guides to subject resources, guides to selection of chemistry computer databases, links to popular and useful chemistry sites. 

Douville, Judith. The Literature of Chemistry: Recommended Titles for Undergraduate Chemistry Library Collections. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries, Division of the American Library Association, 2004. Ref Z 675 C47D68 2004 
A comprehensive, annotated, guide to current books, Internet resources, and journals in chemistry designed for use by students, faculty, and re searchers. 

How to Find Out: Chemical and Process Engineering 
This guide is aimed primarily at students and staff of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh; however it may be of use to anyone looking for information on Chemical and Process Engineering. Maizell, Robert E. How to find chemical information: a guide for practicing chemists, educators and students. (1998) QD 8.5 M34 1998 

Web resources 
BioChem Hub 

The Online Biology and Chemistry Education Center Canada’s SchoolNet: Learning Resources: Sciences: Chemistry 

Chemdex (University of Sheffield) 
The directory of chemistry on the WWW. There are links to companies, communication resources, databases as well as academic institutions and individuals. It has been constructed in conjunction with the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Department of Trade and Industry and has operated from the University of Sheffield since 1993. 

Chemistry Internet Resources
Sites listed under Associations, Chemical, Periodic Tables, Reference Resources, Webguides. 

American Chemical Society. Library Guides for ACS Approved Programs contains American Chemical Society Committee On Professional Training Journal List For Undergraduate Programs (as of January 2005)\cpt\library.html 

Chemistry Resources on the Internet 
Comprehensive list of links compiled by Texas A & M University library. Updated Jan. 2005

Chemistry Resources on the Internet 
1998 article from the online journal Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship URL’s have been updated. 

Chemistry Sources 
Sections include: Metasites; Databases; Service-oriented Sites; Preprints; Technical Reports; Patents; Reference Tools/data/spectra; Electronic Journals; Commercial Sources of Supply of Chemicals; Associations; Instructional Materials; News/Newsletters/Magazines; Newsgroups; Safety. Also published in College & Research Libraries News, November 2000. 

Educational Links: Chemistry 
Selected by Manitoba Education and Youth. 

High School Chemistry Resources on the Web Extensive list compiled by Wilton High School chemistry teacher, Dr. Bob Jacobs. Intended for the high school level, this massive set of categorized links would also be helpful to a college general chemistry student. Periodic Tables section at 

Imperial Oil: The Resource Centre 
This portal site provides links to key resources in the field of chemistry and physics. The links include: Periodic table of elements, National Chemistry Week experiments, Chem4kids, Let’s Talk Science, Canadian Chemistry and Physics Olympiad, Bill Nye… 

InfoSurf: Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Information Resources for: Chemistry from University of California, Santa Barbara Library. Covers Chemical Data Sources, Materials Safety Data Sheets, Chemistry Departments, Super Sites, Awards and Prizes, Professional Societies, Conferences, Meetings and Symposia, Publishers, Electronic Journals, Chemical Suppliers, Chemical Equipment Suppliers, Chemical Software Suppliers, Commercial Information Providers, Chemistry Databases for UCSB users.

IPL Kidspace: Physics and Chemistry

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: Chemical Science 

Martindale’s The Virtual Chemistry Center

Rolf Claessen’s Chemistry Index 
Sections include Top 5% Chemistry Sites; Software; Books; Databases; Companies; Journals; Patents; Jobs; Reactions; Spectroscopy; Societies; Lik Collections. 

Science Net 
Science web sites selected by TPL staff for teachers and students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The sites are indexed by subject category. Topics include Biology, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Paleontology and Astronomy. 

Science NetLinks
Science NetLinks provides a wealth of resources for K-12 science educators, including lesson plans and reviewed Internet resources. Use “search” feature to find chemistry specific items. 

University of Winnipeg Library. Chemistry on the Web. 

Vaughan Memorial Library: Subject Research Guides: Chemistry Reference Sources 

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Web Information Service 
Currently, CCINFOWeb provides subscription to the following databases: 
• Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards 
• OSH References

A free database where you can search for chemicals by chemical name, formula, molecular weight, CAS registry number, and molecular structure. Professional pay version known as ChemINDEX. 

NIST Chemistry WebBook 
Provides thermochemical, thermophysical, and ion energetics data compiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). General searches can be done by formula, name, CAS registry number, author, or structure. Material Safety Datasheets See above: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. 

Web Information Service MSDS Search 
Free service. Designed to be a reliable starting point for exchange of MSDS documents. Includes link to MSDS dictionary, etc. 

Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries 
Glossarist: Chemistry glossaries and chemistry dictionaries 

Abstracts and indexes
Chemical Abstracts
The most complete guide to the literature. Begun 1907. 

Chemistry: Selected Print Resources 
Kirk-Othmer Concise Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. 4th ed. 1999. Ref TP 9 .K54 1999 
Condenses the Fourth Edition of the 27-volume full edition. The articles retain not only basic, fundamental information as well as key portions of more advanced material, but also illustrations, tables, graphs, and key references. New topics are incorporated in their appropriate alphabetical order. 

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics Ref QD 65 H3
The standard reference work for chemical and physical data. Information is divided into various sections and organized into specific tables. Indexes are also included. 

Lange’s Handbook of Chemistry. 14th ed. Ref QD 65 .L36
Covers the entire field of chemistry with facts, figures, values, tables, and formulas. 

The Merck Index: an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. Ref RS 356 M524 
Provides comprehensive encyclopedic information on various chemicals and pharmaceutical compounds. Use the indexes to find the correct entry number for the compound and follow the guide in the front of the book to read the entries.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Roots in alchemy 
1 : a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life. 2 : a power or process of transforming something common into something special. 3 : an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting 
1 : a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo. 2 a : the composition and chemical properties of a substance *the chemistry of iron* b : chemical processes and phenomena (as of a organism) *blood chemistry* 
Merriam-Webster Dictionary 
  • elementary substances
  • forms of matter [of which all bodies are composed]
  • laws that regulate the combination of these elements
  • various phenomena that impact on substances and matter 
Chemistry is divided into two large subdivisions, which form the basis for all chemical study, research and work: 
  • Organic [pertaining to substances with carbon atoms]
  • Inorganic [deals with compounds generally not containing carbon and usually derived from minerals] 
Within each of these two groups, chemistry is divided into: 
  • Physical chemistry—the marriage of chemistry and physics in the study of gases, solids, or liquids
  • Analytical chemistry—qualitative analysis of chemicals in terms of structure
  • Biochemistry—the chemistry of living organisms
Chemistry research is also common in the following research areas:
  • Agricultural chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Forensic
  • Fuels and energy
  • Industrial chemistry
  • Stereochemistry [the study of the three-dimensional structure of molecules] 
Literature of chemistry 
If an army travels on its stomach, then chemicals surely travel on their journals. The cutting edge and the archival record of chemical research are both found almost exclusively within the realm of peer-reviewed journals. Chemists have never widely adopted other formats such as preprints or conference proceedings, and patents, another major segment of chemical literature, are not used as intensively by academics as by chemists in industry.
Flaxbert, David. 2001 (published 2003). “Conservations with Chemists: Information Seeking Behavior of Chemistry Faculty in the Electronic Age.” Science and Technology Libraries 21 (3/4): 5-26. 
  • Chemist publish most often in journals
    • Articles tend to be short, e.g. 1-2 pages 
      • Results in numerous publications by individuals
  • Patents crucial for pharmaceutical and chemical process industries
  • Most monographs collections of articles compiled by editor
  • Conference proceedings not as important as in other fields
  • Relative contributions of the Document Types to Chemical Abstracts
  • E-prints/preprints 
    • Chemists are the least likely in the field of science to rely on e-print servers 
    • American Chemical Society has a policy against publishing any paper posted on a preprint server
    • Only 6% of editors of top chemistry journals will publish articles that have appeared as e-prints 
  • Chemistry journals extremely expensive
  • Online versions of most mainstream print chemistry journals available, various pricing models 
  • Very few electronic only chemistry journals 
  • Better bibliographic control than any other scientific discipline 
    • Chemical Abstracts the premier abstracting/indexing service
    • Graphic nature of subject creates need to be able to search by chemical structure 
Chemical Abstracts 
  • Indexes over 12,000 of the world’s chemistry journals and other sources – technical reports, patents, etc.
  • Print version began in 1907; electronic 1967, available on DIALOG
  • Now includes over 800,000 entries per year
  • Printed edition updates weekly; online daily
  • Semi annual and 5-year cumulations 
  • Available in print on CD-ROM and online 
Chemical Abstracts – print edition 
  • Weekly issues: two volumes per year 
    • 80 subject sections divided into 5 broad groups 
      • Biochemistry
      • Organic chemistry 
      • Macromolecular chemistry 
      • Applied chemistry and chemical engineering
      • Physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry 
  • Coverage/scope 
    • Very comprehensive 
      • Journal articles
      • Patents
      • Books
      • Reports
      • Conference proceedings 
    • Little quality control 
  • Organization 
    • Abstracts
    • Indexes 
      • Index Guide
        • Key printed tool for identifying correct subject headings
      • Weekly indexing 
        • Author 
        • Patents
          • Only 1st version of patent indexed
        • Keyword 
      • Volume and collective indexes
        • Author 
        • General subject
        • Chemical substance/nomenclature 
          • Each substance assigned a unique registry number 
        • Molecular formula index 
          • Carbon, Hydrogen, all other elements in alphabetical order
          • Hill System Order 
What is a registry number? 
  • Unique identifying number given to a chemical structure 
  • In the form of XXXXXX-YY-Z where X, Y and Z are numerals 
  • 1st section is 2-6 digits, 2nd section is 2, 3rd section is 1 
  • Easier to use than complicated Chemical Name 
  • Also used by many other chemical reference sources 
Chemical Nomenclature 
 Common questions
  • Bibliography
  • History and biography
  • Existence, occurrence and source – location of raw material; its form; known compounds
  • Composition – natural and artificial products; specifications and standards; formulas
  • Methods of production; preparation and manipulation
  • Properties – physical and chemical; general and specific reactions
  • Uses – laboratory and industrial; general and special applications
  • Identification, testing and analysis – methods available; interpretation of results
  • Patents and trademarks
  • Statistical data – production; consumption; cost; supply; price; market 
High school students 
  • Should be exposed to chemical handbooks and scientific journals 
  • Should learn
    • How to use basic chemical reference tools e.g. CRC Handbook
    • What a scientific paper is, and be able to recognize the difference between a scientific journal article and an article on a scientific subject in a magazine or newspaper 
Material safety data sheets
  • Regulated under Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation, for chemical products 
  • Designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance
  • Include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures