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Environment: Search Tips

Smooth Operators: getting the most from search engines

Use of "AND" and "OR":  Use of AND combines important concepts.  OR brings up items containing any of the search terms.

Note:  If you put more than 1 word in the search box, the catalog assumes the AND and will look for items that include all your terms.  Also, in our catalog, operators must be capitalized.


  1. To find fewer: narrow the search with AND - "environmental studies" AND children
  2. To find more: broaden the search with OR - "climate change" OR "global warming"

Using " " (Quotation marks)

Putting quotation marks around words tells the system you are looking for that phrase, not the individual words.  It's a way of narrowing your search and getting more relevant results.

The Meaning of * (Wildcard)

* picks up any characters after the end of the typed-in term.  Very useful for words with many variants.  For example, climat* brings up climate, climatological, climatic, and any other variant.     

Environmental Search Terms - A Few Examples:

Environment in general:

Ecology & Ecosystem:

  • Conservation (as subject search)
  • Ecolog* balance -- * picks up ecology, ecological etc. in the context of balance in the environment
  • Ecosyst* -- * picks up ecosystem, ecosystems, ecosystemic, etc.

Food / food supply / food security

Health-related topics:

Water-related topics: