Electronic Resource & Database Access

There will be no off-campus access to Library electronic resources and databases this Friday, November 28 from 6-10pm. Library buildings are also closed for the Thanksgiving holiday during that time.

Environmental Sciences Collection Development Policy

Purpose of the Collection

The purpose of the collection activity in environmental sciences is to develop a research level collection and to support the instructional curriculum and academic subject emphases of the undergraduate Environmental Studies Department up through the doctoral level in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and of related centers, such as the UCSB National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and the Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science (ICESS).

Environmental Sciences is a very interdisciplinary field; it relates directly to other collection areas including the natural sciences, humanities, Economics, Law and Society, Chemistry, Political Science, and other sciences, engineering and social sciences, and collection activity occurs in those areas. The collections are also used by staff in the UCSB Department of Environmental Health & Safety.

Academic Departments

The Environmental Studies Department and the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management conduct research and teaching in broad subject areas reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the discipline. The undergraduate department offers two degree options: the B.A. and the B.S. requiring introductory coursework in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The ES Department is also home to the B.S. degree in Hydrologic Sciences, a cooperative effort by the departments of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geological Sciences.

The Bren School offers a two-year professional Master's program and a Ph.D. program; within these, several interdisciplinary options are available including an MBA emphasis in corporate environmental management and an Economics and Environmental Science training program

Scope of Coverage

Subject Areas: Given the interdisciplinary nature of the environmental sciences, scholarship from across the disciplines is collected and materials are acquired in consultation with other science, social science, and government information specialists as appropriate. Priority is given to areas of current faculty research and teaching. Areas of concentration and collection include, but are not limited to: environmental policy, environmental economics and corporate management, remediation, hydrology, environmental regulation and innovation, conservation, toxicology, nature and nature writing, environmental law, biodiversity, environmental movements, risk assessment, environmental problems and solutions, natural resources, waste management, ecology and environmental biology, sustainability, pollution, and international environmental issues and comparisons.

Languages: Although English is the primary language, materials in other languages are also acquired on a selective basis. Translations into English are preferred.

Chronological Limits: Primary collecting interest is on current research although for some topics, such as environmental history, historical treatments are also appropriate.

Date of Publication: Materials of the past five to six years are of primary importance for both monographs and serials. Works published prior to this time are collected selectively; retrospective materials may be purchased as need arises. Reprints of classical works may also be purchased when needed.

Types of Materials

The following types of materials are acquired: serials, monographs, proceedings/transactions, technical reports, audiovisual materials. Reference materials, research monographs, and academic journals have a high priority in acquisition. North American university press titles are received on approval. Government publications from the international, foreign national, federal, California state, and Santa Barbara local area are acquired by the respective Government Publications librarians; increasingly, these publications are made freely available on the web. Both scholarly and mainstream works from academic and trade publishers are acquired. Textbooks are acquired minimally, especially at the lower division level.

The following types of material are not ordinarily purchased: reprints; selected works when the Library owns the collected works; collections of reprinted articles; minor revisions; unpublished theses and dissertations.

Generally, hard copy is acquired for monographs unless available only in another format. To maximize limited resources, journals and indexes and abstracts are increasingly acquired in electronic format only, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access. In addition to the criteria used for judging print materials (authority, content, etc.), other factors are considered. These include:

  • Method of access
  • Availability: access to the entire campus is preferred to library-only access
  • Licensing requirements
  • Availability of, and perpetual access to, archives

When necessary, microforms may serve as appropriate preservation media.

Other Resources

System-wide Resources: UC libraries contain extensive collections in environmental sciences and related fields. Resources not owned by the UCSB Libraries are most often readily available via interlibrary loan from other UC libraries; ILL is used heavily and is monitored to provide insight into collection areas requiring increased attention. If the demand is of a continuing nature, the material is considered for acquisition.

Consortia and Cooperative Agreements: When possible, consortia and cooperative agreements are used to augment collections, primarily through the California Digital Library. UCSB actively works with other University of California campuses to pool resources, negotiate purchases, and share materials. Research in the Environmental Sciences is enhanced by numerous UC CDL-supported databases throughout the sciences and the social sciences.

Related Collection Development Policies: Given the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science, there is considerable consultation with other science and social science specialists for acquisition of resources relevant to this field of study.


Author: martoran [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Janet Martorana)
Policy Last Updated: October 2004