Thank you for visiting the “eScience Portal for Librarians.” The “eScience Portal” is no longer being maintained by the University of Massachusetts. This regional resource has been adapted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and is sustained by the network of regional medical libraries across the country. Please visit for up-to-date data services and resources supported and vetted by the National Libraries of Medicine. We look forward to your continued involvement in the programming in the New England Region and beyond. If you have questions, please contact

Environmental Science/Geosciences

Environmental Science/Geosciences

Environmental Sciences

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary discipline integrating physical and biological sciences to study the Earth’s environment and investigate methods to solve natural and man-made environmental problems.

Some research areas within the environmental sciences are ecology, biodiversity, environmental chemistry, energy (natural and man-made), environmental geology, and environmental policy and planning, natural systems, conservation/preservation, and sustainability.

Geosciences (Earth Sciences)

Geosciences – disciplines that research the planet Earth, including, but not limited to, the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Geography, GIS, environmental science and cartography are interwoven within the research methodologies of geosciences. Tools from biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are regularly used to understand how the Earth works and continues to evolve. Some of the sub-disciplines are: climatology, paleoclimatology, paleontology, biogeography, oceanography, hydrology, limnology, geology, geophysics, mineralogy, and petrology.


General Content

Climate Science

  • Climate Science from an Information Perspective (2010) (Video, ~60 min.) – Overview of climate science presented by Dr. Matthew Barlow, University of Massachusetts Lowell, at Science Boot Camp 2010. Includes discussion of the many science disciplines that climate science encompasses, and climate change. Discusses the controversial perceptions of climate change among scientists and non-scientists.
  • Climate Change: Sea Level Rise and Estuarine Response (2010) (Video, ~60 min.) – Dr. Brian Howes of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth discusses effects of climate change on sea level and estuaries. Presented at Science Boot Camp 2010.


According to Encyclopedia Britannica geography is the study of the Earth’s physical environment, human habitats, and the effects of human and animal activities on the Earth. Traditionally, geography was only associated with the exploration and mapping of the Earth, now it boasts numerous subfields and geographers use various research methods and tools to analyze the interrelationships between Earth, its peoples, societies and animals.

Physical geography – the study and analysis of landforms (geomorphology), water (hydrology), climate and meteorology (climatology), biotic environment (biogeography) and soils (pedology).

Human geography – the analysis and research into how humans interact with their physical, social and cultural environments. Focus areas are urban, regional and environmental planning; cultural geography (economics, political, ethnic/gender issues, transportation, etc).

Cartography – the development of techniques and applications supporting spatial analytical studies or the display of information and data. Geographers interpret, design, use and produce maps in print, digital or conceptual formats. (See GIS)


Resources for Maps and Imagery

Data Management