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ENR 1100: Environment and Natural Resources: Guide Home

Ask a Librarian

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Larry Schmidt
He, His, Him
Larry Schmidt
Chair of Research & Instruction
Research Support Librarian
Coe Library, 304M
Laramie, WY 82071

Your Assignment

For this assignment you will choose a topic at the local or regional scale to explore the interdisciplinary nature of ENR problems. The paper is supposed to reflect the diversity of positions and interested parties who may be involved in a given issue. In this paper you are to explore the economic, scientific, ethical, cultural, and political components of the problem.

Sample Research Questions:

  • How have politics, science, and values informed wolf recovery and management in Wyoming?
  • What are the Jackson community’s considerations when looking at expansion plans for Highway 22?
  • How does the recycling program at the University of Wyoming affect the quality of the environment in Laramie?
  • What are the environmental and economic impacts of unconventional gas resource development in the Rocky Mountain Region?

Primary & Secondary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

A primary source is the original object or document. Primary sources include first-hand reports and original creations (diaries, interviews, art) as well as experimental results (from clinical trials, experiments, scientific discoveries).

A secondary source reports on or analyzes a primary source. Secondary sources include reviews and interpretations of primary sources.


Popular vs. Scholarly Articles - What's the difference?

   Scholarly articles are usually lengthy and written in scholarly language by scholars and researchers.  These articles are often peer-reviewed, which means that the information in the article was checked for accuracy and importance by a team of experts in the field before publication.

Scholarly articles often report on research.  Research articles can be identified by their standard format, containing sections titled Methods, Results, Conclusions, and Bibliography. 

Be aware that scholarly journals sometimes contain non-scholarly content, such as book reviews or editorial opinions. While these articles can be useful they do not qualify as "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed".

If you are not sure whether an article is peer-reviewed, you can look up the journal in the Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to find out, or check the author guidelines on the journal's web site.

   Popular articles are the articles in magazines that you encounter in the grocery store or the dentist's office. The articles are written by journalists to inform and entertain, and frequently give short, easy-to-read overviews of the research articles published in scholarly journals.

  Trade journal articles is a third type of journal article you might encounter. These articles contain practical advice and information for workers within a specific occupation. For example, a professional pharmacist might read the trade journal Pharmacy Times to find out about new advances in child-proof lids, but she will turn to scholarly research articles to learn how a new drug performed in clinical trials.

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