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Heritage University OER (Open Access Resources): Environmental Studies

New LibGuide for OER (Open Access Resources)

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Major Repositories

  arXiv--Environmental Studies
“A curated research-sharing platform open to anyone. As a pioneer in digital open access, now hosts nearly two million scholarly articles in eight subject areas, curated by our strong community of volunteer moderators.”—from the website

                              The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)M*-- Environmental Studies
“Real-time federated search for OER content.”—from the website


                            The Merlot SystemM*--“Environmental Studies”
“Provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.” —from the website

                              National Science Digital Library—“Environmental Studies
“The National Science Digital Library provides high quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.”—from the website


                              OER Commons *--Environmental Studies 
“The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. This shift in educational practice is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation.”—from the website


                            Scitable by Nature Education
“Educators: Inspire your undergraduate and high-school AP biology students with resources on genetics and cell biology from Nature Publishing Group, home of Nature, the most cited scientific journal in the world.”—from the website


Environmental Policy Commons
“The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.”—from the website

                              MIT Open Courseware*
“Massachusetts Institute of Technology was one of the pioneers in open courseware.  Its Open CourseWare (OCW) “makes the materials used in the teaching of MIT's subjects available on the Web.”—from the website


University of Massachusetts -Boston - OpenCourseWare-- Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences
“The goals are to: Provide free, searchable, access to course materials for educators, students, and self-learners around the world. Catalyze the growth of communities of learners. Extend the reach and impact of the OpenCourseWare concept.”—from the website


                            Library of Congress--Teacher Resources
“The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.”—from the website.”—from the website

The National Science Foundation (NSF)
“The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..." NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.”—from the website

                              Geosciences | LibreTexts LibraryM*

      “LibreText Geosciences resources include:

                              OASIS M*: Environmental Science (Cross-Search Tool)
“Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 117 different sources and contains 388,707 records. .”—from the website


“Founded in 2009, DataONE is a community driven project providing access to data across multiple member repositories, supporting enhanced search and discovery of Earth and environmental data.”—from the website

Forest Science Data Bank (H.J. Andrews LTER)
“Data from the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and Long-Term Ecological Research Site has been collected, curated, and archived for more than 60 years. Data are available for download and use, with appropriate acknowledgements.”—from the website

(USFS) Forest Inventory and Analysis
“The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program of the U.S. Forest Service provides the information needed to assess America's forests. The long history of scientifically credible FIA data provides critical status and trend information to resource managers, policy makers, investors, and the public through a system of annual resource inventory that covers both public and private forest lands across the United States.”—from the website


                            (USFS) Geodata Clearinghouse
“The USDA Forest Service Geodata Clearinghouse is an online collection of digital data related to forest resources. Through the Clearinghouse you can find datasets related to forests and grasslands, including boundaries and ownership, natural resources, roads and trails, as well as datasets related to State and private forested areas, including insect and disease threat and surface water importance. You can also find downloadable map products, raster data, and links to other sources of forest resource information.”—from the website

WDI online – World Development Indicators Online
“DataBank is an analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics. You can create your own queries; generate tables, charts, and maps; and easily save, embed, and share them. Enjoy using DataBank.”—from the website

Wildland Fire Statistics (National Interagency Fire Center)

“The National Interagency Coordination Center at the National Interagency Fire Center compiles annual wildland fire statistics for federal and state agencies. This information is gathered from the Incident Management Situation Reports, which have been in use for several decades. It is reported by federal, state, local, and tribal land management agencies through established reporting channels.”—from the website


  World Bank Open Data 
“Free and open access to global development data.”—from the website

Google Advanced Search and OER

Textbook Collections

InTechOpen-- Environmental Studies   
inTech Open believes “that scientific progress is generated by collaboration, that the playing field for scientific research should be leveled globally, and that research conducted in a democratic environment, with the use of innovative technologies, should be made available to anyone.”—from the website

                             National Academies Press (NAP)-- Environmental Studies   
“The National Academies Press (NAP) publishes the reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The NAP publishes more than 200 books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and medicine, providing authoritative, independently-researched information on important matters in science and health policy.”—from the website

OAPEN-- Environmental Studies 
“OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of open access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation.”—from the website

                            Wikibooks-- Environmental Studies M*  
“Books on this shelf deal with biology: the science that studies living organisms. More specifically, it examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and classification of all living things.”—from the website

Open Online Courses

                              Class Central  M—Environment
“Class Central is a search engine and reviews site for free online courses popularly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.”—from the website

                              Coursera M*--Environmental Studies
“Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.”—from the website


                            edX  M*--Environmental Studies
“There are three commitments we've made to the world. We've been grounded by these since day one:  Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere. Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online.  Advance teaching and learning through research.”—from the website


                              Future Learn - Nature & Environment Courses
“FutureLearn courses are divided into weeks. These contain various activities that you should aim to complete within the week, each onebuilt from a sequence of straightforward steps, to help you learn. Each week is given a descriptive name, so you always know what’s expected, and you can even navigate between them, to see what’s coming up, or catch up from the beginning if you’re late starting.”—from the website

- Nature & Environment

“Welcome to OpenLearn - the home of free learning from The Open University. Are you looking for a new topic to explore, or want to dig deeper into something you've already discovered? Whether it’s a 60-second animated video or a 24-hour course you are after, you will find it on OpenLearn for free.”—from the website

                              Yale Open Courses
“The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”—from the website


Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG)
“The Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG) operates as a Research Center of Excellence under the University of Montana (UM) Office of Research & Creative Scholarship. Founded in 1987 within the UM College of Forestry & Conservation, NTSG is a nexus for UM research and technology development in satellite remote sensing and Earth system science. Our primary mission is to advance knowledge of ecosystem structure, function & resiliency through emerging technologies in remote sensing & computational modeling, grounded in the biophysical sciences. Our facilities are located on the 4th floor of the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) on the UM campus.”—from the website

ClimateSim: Climate-change Simulator
“ClimateSimTM is a web app offered by ScienceBySimulation. It is a fast and simple climate modeling and simulation tool. It is targeted to undergraduate and advanced high-school students in physics, geoscience and environmental science courses. ClimateSim allows users to model scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions in the current century and simulates the first-order response of the earth system. Instructors can use ClimateSim to illustrate climate-change concepts, demonstrate dynamic relationships between climate variables, and assign simulation-based exercises as part of their courses.”

Lab Experiments and Manuals

Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE)
“Founded in 1979 to promote information exchange among university and college educators actively concerned with teaching biology in a laboratory setting. The focus of ABLE is to improve the undergraduate biology laboratory experience by promoting the development and dissemination of interesting, innovative, and reliable laboratory exercises.”—from the website

Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology
“This textbook is a comprehensive lab manual for the core curriculum Introductory Geosciences classes with both informational content and laboratory exercises. Topics include basic laws and theories in Geology, the Earth's interior and plate tectonics, water and climate change, igneous rocks and volcanoes, and earthquakes.”—from the website


OER Simulations & Virtual Labs Resources (Compiled by Colorado School of Mines)
“Our teaching and learning environments have changed quite rapidly this year! This page provides a (growing) list of free virtual labs and simulations. See the "Finding OER" tab for freely available textbooks and other course materials. If you find or create a resource to share, please email Emily Bongiovanni ( to have it added to the page."--from the website

Moving Science Labs Online
“To get started, review these recent articles and video to consider general tips, procedures, pros and cons, etc.”—from the website

NANSLO: North American Network of Science Labs Online
“NANSLO provided students access to real science laboratories through an online interface to scientific equipment, enabling them to conduct tasks and collect data for assigned lab activities. Supported by a live lab technician and bolstered by teleconference and video streaming capabilities, NANSLO facilitated cross-institutional collaboration among student teams and gave them access to scientific processes, insights, and equipment not physically available to them."--from the website

Open Science Laboratory
“This online laboratory brings interactive practical science to students anywhere and anytime the internet is available. The laboratory features investigations based on on-screen instruments, remote access experiments and virtual scenarios using real data. Several activities are available to all, while others are available only to registered users.”—from the website

Soils Laboratory Manual (Kansas State)
“The Soils Laboratory Manual is an open-source, open access laboratory manual designed for introductory, undergraduate soil science courses. It has a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). It was first developed by a series of faculty members at North Carolina State University, and later adapted by Colby Moorberg for use at Kansas State University.”—from the website

Virtual and Remote Lab Resources
Virtual Labs: In these labs, real experiments are virtualized or simulated and students can access them online.

Remote Labs: These types of labs enable faculty and students to access equipment and/or computers via the internet to perform experiments and laboratory tasks without being in the physical lab space.


EarthExplorer (EE) ( provides online search, browse display, metadata export, and data download for earth science data from the archives of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). EE provides an enhanced user interface using state-of-the-art technologies for searching, viewing, and downloading data. 

NatureServe Data, Maps & Tools
“NatureServe is most effective when our data are applied. The value-added tools and services that we develop transform this information into actionable knowledge in the service of scientific understanding and biodiversity conservation.”—from the website


National Land Cover Database  
“The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) consortium is a group of federal agencies who coordinate and generate consistent and relevant land cover information at the national scale for a wide variety of environmental, land management, and modeling applications. The creation of this consortium has resulted in the mapping of the lower 48 United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico into a comprehensive land cover product termed, the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), from decadal Landsat satellite imagery and other supplementary datasets.”—from the website


“arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,891,879 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. Materials on this site are not peer-reviewed by arXiv.”—from the website

“bioRxiv (pronounced "bio-archive") is a free online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints in the life sciences. It is operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a not-for-profit research and educational institution. By posting preprints on bioRxiv, authors are able to make their findings immediately available to the scientific community and receive feedback on draft manuscripts before they are submitted to journals.”—from the website

DOE (Department of Energy) Pages

“The Department of Energy Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (DOE PAGES) is the DOE discovery tool, developed by the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), that makes peer-reviewed scholarly scientific publications resulting from DOE research funding publicly accessible.”—from the website

Open Science (OSF) Preprints
“For COS to achieve our mission, we must drive change in the culture and incentives that drive researchers’ behavior, the infrastructure that supports their research, and the business models that dominate scholarly communication.”—from the website

“Preprints is a platform dedicated to making early versions of research outputs permanently available and citable. We post original research articles and comprehensive reviews, and papers can be updated by authors at any time. Content on Preprints is not peer-reviewed and can receive feedback from readers.”—from the website.

Open Access Communities


“BioOne Complete is a database of more than 200 subscribed and open-access titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. The flagship product of the nonprofit publisher BioOne, BioOne Complete provides libraries with cost-effective access to high-quality, curated research and independent society publishers with a dynamic, community-based platform and global distribution. BioOne Complete's unique business model reinvests precious library funds in scientific communication, with over $45M returned to participating publishers to date. .”—from the website

Center for Open Science (COS)
"Our mission is to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research.  For COS to achieve our mission, we must drive change in the culture and incentives that drive researchers’ behavior, the infrastructure that supports their research, and the business models that dominate scholarly communication.”—from the website

PLOS - Research Communities
"Discover field-specific content, news, and opportunities across our journals in the select community hubs.”—from the website

Research Gate
"ResearchGate allows you to network with the largest global community dedicated to science and research: we help you to expand your contacts, share knowledge and find potential research partners.”—from the website

“SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education.”—from the website


Oxford Environmental Science Encyclopedia"
Substantive, peer-reviewed, and regularly updated, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science combines the speed and flexibility of digital with the rigorous standards of academic publishing.”—from the website

Encyclopedia of Life

"Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth - of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria - is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.”—from the website


Annenberg Learner--
As part of its mission to advance excellent teaching in American schools, Annenberg Learner funds and distributes educational video programs – with coordinated online and print materials – for the professional development of K-12 teachers. Many programs are also intended for students in the classroom and viewers at home, with videos that exemplify excellent teaching. Annenberg Learner also partners with impactful organizations to provide other means of achieving this goal. As part of the Annenberg Foundation, Learner supports the Foundation’s mission to encourage the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.

CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to high quality educational materials for K-12 students all over the world. We offer free high-quality, standards-aligned, open content in the STEM subjects. By providing these free resources, CK-12 is working toward educational equity for all.

Crash Course -- Environmental
“Crash Course is one of the best ways to educate yourself, your classmates, and your family on YouTube!  From courses like Astronomy to US History and Anatomy & Physiology it's got you covered with an awesome variety of AP high school curriculum topics. With various witty hosts at your service, you won't even notice you're getting smarter.”—from the website

Creative Commons  
“CC Search is a tool that allows openly licensed and public domain works to be discovered and used by everyone. Creative Commons, the nonprofit behind CC Search, is the maker of the CC licenses, used over 1.4 billion times to help creators share knowledge and creativity online.”—from the website


The Story of Stuff Project
“The Story of Stuff Project started as the online viral sensation The Story of Stuff, and has grown into a movement working to shift the way we make, use and throw away Stuff. Read our story to learn more about this amazing Community.”—from the website


                            TED Talks* --Environment  
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.”—from the website

University Videos
This new Digital Library portal contains the metadata of the YouTube Channels of the world's Top Universities.  Viewing University Videos within the Digital Library provides viewer-enhancements that will make these videos attract and keep more viewers.  User Benefits: there are four main user-enhancement features to watch for:

  1. Video transcript plays in sync with the playing video, enhancing the user experience
  2. Video Search - enhanced and advanced search capabilities, plus hit to hit navigation
  3. Video Clip and Share - instant and automatic sharing of important video clips
  4. Video Transcript Navigation, allowing viewers to jump to any spot in the video

Wikimedia Commons (images, videos, and sounds)
“A media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. Use the search to find content related to your interest.”—from the website


Digital Commons Network
The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions, the Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

                              DOAJ *“The DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) was launched in 2003 with 300 open access journals. Today, this independent database contains over 15 000 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities. Open access journals from all countries and in all languages are welcome to apply for inclusion.”—from the website

“The aim of is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific journals, theses, posters and patents. All scientific subjects are covered and all content are freely available in PDF format. was developed by KnowMade SARL. KnowMade is a Technology Intelligence company specialized in the research and analysis of scientific and technical information. We provide customized watching services and on demand studies with high added value to businesses and research laboratories.”—from the website

  Georgia Knowledge Repository*
"Georgia Knowledge Repository (GKR) is a central metadata repository containing records from participating GALILEO institutions that can be freely searched by the citizens of Georgia and the scholarly community at large”—from the website

Journal TOCs
“A searchable resource providing tables of contents for over 17,000 scholarly journals (almost 3000 of which are open access) .”—from the website


“Search millions of free academic articles, chapters and theses.”—from the website

                              National Science Digital Library

“The National Science Digital Library provides high quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.”—from the website

PLoS (Public Library of Science)

"PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.  We’ve been breaking boundaries since 2001. We propelled the movement for OA alternatives to subscription journals. We established the  first multi-disciplinary publication inclusive of all research regardless of novelty or impact. And we demonstrated the importance of open data availability.”—from the website

Case Study

Food Systems Case Studies
“Sustainability education seeks to help students think critically and creatively by using a diverse set of problem-solving, systems-thinking and implementation skills. Experiential learning activities, by making deliberate use of social and physical contexts beyond the lecture hall, directly engage students with the physical infrastructure and social influences that shape food systems and sustainability. Students are also exposed to diverse professional cultures in action, demonstrating the expectations and standards of conduct in the field or community setting.”—from the website


                              Aspen Institute--Environmental
“The Ideas Worth Teaching initiative is designed to draw attention to important new ideas about the role of business in creating a sustainable, inclusive society. We produce a tightly curated, weekly email for business school faculty and others, with the goal of prompting new conversations in the classroom about relationships between corporations, capital markets, and the public good.”—from the website


M--Meta= a service which includes resources compiled from other sites and a serves as a directory to them.

*= a site of some note and merit which has found favor in the Library Dude’s eyes, for better or worse…