A journey to uncover the heart of Earth Day

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Kris Glodoski Wolf, Librarian

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Spring semester never really feels like spring until now. Those first couple months are so cold and snow-filled that by the time Spring Break passes by, I’m grateful for the sun and pops of color peeking through the earth. Which brings me to my focal point: Monday, April 22 is Earth Day. I’ve always known Earth Day as a day of celebration and environmental awareness, but I didn’t know about its history. As a librarian, it seemed a natural fit to highlight library resources while exploring this topic.

I turned first to Credo Reference, an online resource providing access to over 800 reference titles, including encyclopedias, biographies, and dictionaries. It’s the place to go when you’re tempted to search Wikipedia, but you know it’s not a scholarly source. Within Credo you can explore accurately composed topic pages on a variety of subjects, discover connections between references through mind maps (visual representations of ideas, individuals, and issues), and link to related content in our library databases to expand your research.

What did I learn from Credo? The observance of Earth Day started in 1970, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) who was inspired by a national environmental awareness demonstration. Always a dedicated conservationist, Nelson spent his life advocating environmental protection. His legacy is honored in Wisconsin by UW-Madison’s Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Governor Nelson State Park.

If you’re interested in learning more about conservation and environmental protection, you can delve into these topics confidently using the comprehensive library database, CQ Researcher. It provides information about current events, including trending topics concerning the environment, climate, and natural resources. You will find relevant issue trackers (reports) specific to environmental protection.

Want additional resources? You can find links to books, journals, and reliable websites, browsing our thoughtfully compiled research guides—particularly within guides dedicated to agriculture, environmental science, food issues, renewable energy, and sustainability.

If you’re an audio/visual learner, or simply enjoy complimenting your reading with something dynamic, our streaming media collections offer a number of films from various points-of-view to expand your horizons. For example, Films on Demand has over 1,500 titles related to environmental science, including nearly 50 TED Talks on the subject of/or related to climate change. The library also has DVDs, with cinematically stunning documentaries like Planet Earth II available to checkout.

Lastly, if you enjoy listening to podcasts, episode five of the Overdue Podcast may be of interest. In this episode, Dr. Matthew Lazzara, a Weather and Climate instructor in the Physical Sciences department who is also the Principal Investigator of the Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program and Antarctic Meteorological Research Center was interviewed—a very engaging conversation.

No matter your topic of interest, I hope everything the library has to offer supports you on your journey to the center of information discovery.

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