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California Environment Information Sources

California's environment is characterized by vast extremes and great biodiversity. It ranks near the top among the 50 states in nearly every category of biodiversity. It is under extensive pressure due to global climate changes and increasing population and development.

This research guide lists important print and Internet sources of information on California's environment and natural resources. Each resource theme is subdivided into six sections: 1) guides and bibliographies, 2) general introductions, 3) environmental history, 4) data compilations, 5) reviews and assessments, and 5) maps.

California Poppy
Charles Webber © California Academy of Sciences
California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica

For information on specific regions, sites or organisms in California consult the cited references within the sources listed in this research guide as well as searching the HSU Library Catalog and the catalogs of other libraries.

Resources by Theme Geospatial Resources Geographic Regions

General


Agriculture

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almond orchard
Almond Orchard
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • California Agricultural Directory (California Farm Bureau Federation) Biennial (ref S 409.5 C3 C3) Directory of commodity and trade organizations, agricultural cooperatives, government agencies, farmer's markets, educational institutions and agri-tourism.
    • California Agricultural Resource Directory (California Department of Food and Agriculture) Annual (print copy available in Cal Doc A 609 C34) In three parts: CDFA overview, agricultural statistical overview by county and by crop, and directory of agricultural agencies and organizations.

Coast and Ocean

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Point Lobos
© Marc Hoshovsky
Point Lobos
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Bibliography and Literature Database: Ecology of the Southern California Bight (Allen) 1989. Includes 6768 references on the Bight, other relevant literature from the west coast of North America, and all literature cited in Ecology of the Southern California Bight: a Synthesis and Interpretation.
    • Bibliography of Marine Geology and Oceanography, California Coast (Terry) 1955 (Cal Docs C 810 S6 #44) (California Division of Mines and Geology Special Report #44) Covers literature up through 1955.

Energy & Mineral Resources

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Gold
California State Mineral
Gold
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • "Battles over Energy" IN Bibliography of California Environmental History pp. 108-119 (Teisch) 1998 (GE 155 C2 G75 1998) Lists primary and secondary books and journal articles.
    • California Geological Survey (formerly California Division of Mines and Geology)
      • California Geology Magazine Index, 1948-1986 (Eng) 1987 (Cal Doc C 810 S59 # 92) (CGS Special Publication # 92) Subject and author index to articles appearing in the California Geology magazine and the earlier Mineral Information Service. California Geology Magazine Index to Back Issues lists the table of contents of available issues from 1991 to 2001 when the magazine ceased publication.

Environmental Pollution

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This section lists resources on air pollution, solid waste and hazardous waste. For water pollution resources see Water Resources and Water Quality.

Smog in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, early 1990s
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Surf Your Watershed (US Environmental Protection Agency) Each watershed in the United States includes links to sites that contain information on watershed health, air quality, toxic waste, water quality, stream flow, water use, land characteristics, and environmental organizations. Locate watersheds by zip code, county, placename, or watershed.


Forests, Woodlands and Rangelands

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Oak Woodlands
California Oak Woodlands
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Bibliographies on Chaparral and the Fire Ecology of Other Mediterranean Systems (Keeley) 1988 (California Water Resources Center Report #69) (TD 224 C3 C3 No.69)
    • California Rangelands: Annual Rangeland References (California Society for Range Management) Bibliography containing 157 references on California annual rangelands.
    • Forest Fire Research in California: An Annotated Bibliography, 1923-1961 (Wilson & Nilsson) 1962 (Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station Miscellaneous Paper No. 75) (Docs A 13.62/9:75)

Geology

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For information on natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides, fires) see Natural Hazards. For information on mineral resources see Energy and Mineral Resources.

Serpentine
California State Rock
Serpentine
  • Guides and Bibliographies
  • For more detailed or site-specific studies check the 1) HSU Library Catalog for books; 2) GeoRef (HSU users only) for journal articles, government documents, conference papers, and theses; and 3) references in the following guides and bibliographies.

    For indexes to California geologic maps see California Maps - Geology - Indexes.



Land Use and Ownership

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California Land Use
Land Use
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) (California Natural Resources Agency) Portal to California land use and environmental planning information including county general plans, environmental assessment documents, and relate information. LUPIN seeks to facilitate better informed decisions about land use, resource conservation, and ecosystem management. Retreive information by geographic area, data type, topic or organization.


Natural Communities & Habitats

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Trinity Alps
© Marc Hoshovsky
Trinity Alps
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Forest Service Research Natural Areas in California (Cheng) 2004 (US Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-188) (print copy available in Docs A 13.88: PSW-188) Contains summaries of the ecological descriptions of 98 established or proposed research natural areas (RNAs) in California. RNAs are selected to reflect the natural diversity of vegetation types on USFS lands in California.  The summaries are based on ecological surveys conducted from 1975 through 2000. Each RNA description includes location, target elements, distinctive features, physical characteristics, plant communities, plant diversity, and conflicting impacts.

Natural Hazards

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This section includes information on earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters.

La Conchita Coastal Slide
Coastal Landslide, La Conchita, CA
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • California Earthquake Information (US Geological Survey) Directory of links to California earthquake information. Categories include historic information, institutions, maps, notable earthquakes, recent earthquakes, and tectonic information.
    • California Integrated Seismic Network (California Geological Survey, Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, USGS Menlo Park, USGS Pasadena, and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services) Partnership among federal, state, and university agencies involved in California earthquake monitoring whose mission is to operate a reliable, modern, statewide system for earthquake monitoring, research, archiving, and distribution of information for the benefit of public safety, emergency response, and loss mitigation. This site includes links to earthquake information and maps; and to news about California earthquakes.

Soils

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California State Soil
California State Soil
San Joaquin Soil
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Index to Soil Surveys in California (California Department of Conservation) 1982 (Ref S 599 C2 T76 1986) Lists availability of soil surveys by county and by agency.
    • Index to Forest and Range Soil Series in California (Stangenberger & Mallory) 1981 (ref SD 390.3 U6 C37) Master list of all soil series mapped by the California Cooperative Soil-Vegetation Survey.

Vegetation

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California State Flower
California State Flower
California Poppy, Eschsholtzia californica


Water Resources & Water Quality

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Shasta Dam
Shasta Dam


Weather & Climate

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NOAA GOES Satellite Image of California
NOAA GOES Satellite Image


Wildlife - General

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California Grizzly Bear
"California Grizzly Bear on railroad tracks," Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, July 1868
California State Animal
Californa Grizzly Bear, Ursus californicus
  • Guides and Bibliographies
    • Annotated Bibliography of Research in Economically Important Species of California Fish and Game (California Department of Fish & Game) 1958-1974 (ref QL 628 C2 S36) Lists research published from the 1800s to 1974 on California's fish and wildlife "...species having a bearing on California's economy.'' While most of the cited literature is scientific in nature articles in trade magazines and popular sports magazines are included. The main work includes literature up throught 1958 and is arranged chronologically within groups. Following the main work there are two-year supplements that cover literarture through 1974.
    • Complete List of Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals in California (California Department of Fish and Game) List generated from the California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System. Original list by Laudenslayer and Grenfell appeared in Outdoor California in 1983.

Wildlife - Amphibians and Reptiles

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Desert Tortoise
California State Reptile
Desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii
  • General Introductions
    • Amphibian and Reptile Species of Special Concern in California (Jennings & Hayes) 1994 (print copy available in ref QL 644.73 C2 J46 1994 and Cal Docs F 660 A46) Includes species accounts on 48 amphibia and reptile taxa native to California that warranted protection at the time of the report. Each account includes description, taxonomy, distribution, distribution map, life history, habitat, status, and management recommendations.


Wildlife - Birds

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California Quail
H. Vannoy Davis © California Academy of Sciences
California State Bird
California Quail, Callipepla californica

Wildlife - Fish & Fisheries

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garibaldi
Dr. Antonio J. Ferreira © Cal. Acad. of Sciences

California State Marine Fish
Garibaldi Damselfish, Hypsypops rubicundus
golden trout
© 2005 John Isaac Holson

California State Fish
Goldern Trout, Oncorhyncus aguabonita


Wildlife - Insects

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California Dogface Butterfly
T. W. Davies © California Academy of Sciences
California State Insect
California Dog-Face Butterfly, Zerene eurydice
  • California Insects (Powell and Hogue) 1979 (QL 475 C3 P68) (California Natural History Guides #44) Field guide and accounts for 600 of the 28,000 known insect species in California.
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies of California (Manolis) 2003 (QL 520.2 U6 M36 2003) (California Natural History Guides # 72)
  • Field Guide to Beetles of California (Evans and Hogue) 2006 (QL 584 C2 E93 2006) (California Natural History Guides # 88) Identifies more than 500 of California's more conspicuous and colorful beetles using an illustrated key to families of California beetle and color photographs. Species accounts include information on beetle identification, natural history, and distribution.
  • Butterflies and Moths of California (US Geological Survey) Part of the Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) database of verified butterfly and moth records in the United States and Mexico. The database includes dynamic distribution maps, photographs, species accounts, and species checklists for each county in the U.S.

Wildlife - Mammals

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Gray Whale
California State Marine Mammal
Gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus


Last Updated: November 23, 2010, by Robert Sathrum