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Earth Day: Selected Resources

Science Reference Services research guides & other resources from the Library of Congress

Links to Other Organizations


Heart shaped photo of students in water, pulling up plants.  Text reads Earth Day Every Day
Students, park staff and volunteers removing invasive species from a constructed wetland and replanting it with native mangroves at American Memorial Park, on the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. National Park Service Website.


Living and working sustainably

Ecosystems: climatology and weather

Ecosystems: flora and fauna

Geography and geology

For Students

From American Memory

American Environmental Photographs 1891-1936 External Link - Images from the University of Chicago Library.

Conservation Movement ~ Multiformat ~ 1850-1920 - The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920.

Mapping the National Parks - This collection documents the history, cultural aspects and geological formations of areas that eventually became National Parks. It consists of approximately 200 maps dating from the 17th century to the present.

Reclaiming the Everglades: South Florida's Natural History, 1884-1934 External Link - Includes personal correspondence, essays, typescripts, reports and memos; photographs, maps and postcards; and publications from individuals and the government. Though centered on the establishment of the Everglades National Park, it covers other issues such as the evolution of the conservation movement, the growing role of women, and the treatment of Native Americans.


"Avoiding the Fate of the Mayans" - The Maya civilization, at its peak, was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world. But after flourishing for a thousand years, it abruptly disappeared. Thanks to Landsat satellite data and climate models, NASA archaeologist Tom Sever has gained insights into the event known as the Maya Collapse. His findings can inform our lives today.

"Big Ice Sheets Doing Big Things: Why it's a Big Deal" - A Webcast of a presentation by Bob Bindschadler, Chief Scientist, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

Bob Ryan - The Chief Meteorologist at NBC4 since 1980 spoke about weather forecasting.

"Charles Darwin, Geologist" - A Webcast of a presentation by Sandra Herbert, one of the world's leading authorities on Darwin. She discusses her book in which she explores how geology changed Darwin and how Darwin changed science.

"The Cheetah: A Race for Survival" - Dr. Laurie Marker is the Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, headquartered in the Republic of Namibia.

"Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow" - Presented by LaManda Joy, award winning gardener, blogger and founder of The Peterson Garden Project in Chicago.

"Color in the Herb Garden" - A webcast with Jim Adams, curator of the National Herb Garden at the National Arboretum.

"Dinosaurs Along the Silk Road" - James Clark, Ph.D., the Ronald Weintraub Professor of Biology at George Washington University. Dr. Clark was a co-leader of expeditions that discovered the bones of small dinosaurs mired in mud, stacked one on top of another, in the northern part of Xinjiang, China, near the ancient Silk Road. More information: External Link

"Earth’s Water Cycle in a Changing Climate" - A presentation by Peter Hildebrand, chief of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

"Farming, Food Security, and Climate Change" - A presentation by Molly Brown, Senior Research Scientist, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. at NASA.

"The Folklore Behind Ecology, or Why Scientists in Ecology Need Help from Folklorists" - Dr. Daniel B. Botkin is a Research Professor at the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Botkin's Web site: External Link

"Food Politics: What to Eat in Today's Era of Food Anxiety" - Dr. Marion Nestle, NYU professor, author and food industry critic, offered guidance on healthful food selections.

"Galileo: 400 Years of the Telescope" - Dr. Michelle Thaller, NASA astrophysicist, looked at the real Galileo, his intriguing daughter Virginia, and the personalities and politics that led to his imprisonment.

"Health Risks of Atomic Bomb Exposure" - Webcast of a presentation by Human geneticist William Jack Schull, outlining the health effects of exposure to atomic bomb radiation.

"Herbs in the Garden" - A Webcast with Holly Shimizu, the executive director of the United States Botanic Garden.

"Honey Bees, Satellites, and Climate Change" - Wayne Esaias, Ocean Sciences Branch, NASA GSFC.

"Hope for Animals and Their Worlds: How Endangered Animals are Being Rescued from the Brink" - Jane Goodall spoke about her latest book. Co-sponsored with the Center for the Book.

"Hubble: A New Beginning" - A presentation by Dave Leckrone, astrophysicist with the NASA Hubble Space Program.

"Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology" - A Webcast with Dr. Eric Grissell.

"Observing, Fighting, and Mitigating Damage from Fires" - Compton Tucker, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA GSFC, spoke on fire fighting and prevention using satellite imagery.

"Observing the Living Oceans from Space" - Gene Feldman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

"On Thin Ice: The Changing Ice Cover on Polar Oceans" - A presentation by Thorsten Markus, Head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA Goddard.

"Our Sun: Its Influence on Life and Climate" - A presentation by Edward F. Guinan, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Villanova University.

"The Parking Garage and Its Impact on Urban Planning" - Shannon McDonald, A.I.A., Senior Architect at the architectural firm of Shannon Sanders McDonald. She spoke about movement issues as related to parking, transportation, environment, architecture, and urban planning.

"Peering Into the Storm: NASA's Exploration of Hurricanes" - A presentation by Dr. Scott A. Braun, research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"Preserving Africa's Threatened Wildlife: Forest Peoples and Indigenous Knowledge" - Alden Almquist, anthropologist, 2003-2004 Kluge Staff Fellow, and Albert Lokasola, President, Vie Sauvage, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"School Gardens with Constance Carter" - A multimedia presentation with the Head of the Science Reference Section at the Library of Congress. Part of the Journeys and Crossings series at the Library of Congress.

"The Seashell on the Mountaintop" - Dr. Alan Cutler discusses his book on Nicholaus Steno, the founder of modern geology.

"Social Justice, the Environment and the Ethics of Collaboration" - Various speakers. Sponsored by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

"Sustainable Organic Agriculture, Family Farming, Direct Marketing of Foods" - Jim Crawford, of New Morning Farm, and Sam Fromartz, author of Organic Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew.

"A Tale of Two Gardens" - Dr. James A. Duke. A Webcast with the noted ethnobotanist, expert on medicinal plants, and author.

"Volcanoes –Near, Far and Really Far Away" - Ashley Davies, Asteroids, Comets and Satellites Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Who Left the Freezer Door Open? What the Poles Are Telling Us about Climate Change" - Bob Bindschadler, Chief Scientist, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

Links to other organizations

Arbor Day Foundation External Link - The Foundation's Mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April.

Cradle of Forestry External Link - Spanning over 100 years of forest conservation history, the Cradle of Forestry offers a snap shot of life at America’s first school of Forestry along the Biltmore Campus Trail External Link in North Carolina.

Department of Energy (DOE)

This Earth Day, Get Your Energy-Saving Questions Answered

DSIRE External Link - The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency was established in 1995. It is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center External Link and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) External Link funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Federal Energy Management Program - This DOE program facilitates the Federal Government's implementation of sound, cost-effective energy management and investment practices.

Earth Day, National Library of Medicine - Online resources for K-12 teachers and students. National Library of Medicine resources with student-friendly information on human health and the environment, plus pollution and toxic chemicals. (PDF 1.03 MB)

Earth Day Network External Link - Founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network (EDN) promotes environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide.

Electronic Green Journal (EGJ) Volume 1, Issue 30, 2010 External Link - Hosted by UCLA, EGJ is a professional, peer-reviewed journal that disseminates information concerning environmental protection, conservation, management of natural resources, and ecologically-balanced regional development. It has several articles on Earth Day, its history and related subjects. The issue linked above has two articles, Earth Day 2010: Earth Day 40th Anniversary Poster and Posters about Ecology and the Environment Before and During the 1970s. Search the other issues for more information on Earth Day.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Learn about current issues, science and technology, and laws and regulations on their site.

Earth Day - EPA's Earth Day Web site offers you many tips and fun ways to protect the environment and your health every day. Lists Earth Day events by region. Learn about the history of Earth Day. - EPA's site on types of fuel, improving your fuel economy, comparisons of vehicles, and information on new and future technology.

Healthy Building Network External Link - Founded in 2000 on the initiative of leaders from the national environmental health movement, this organization works to " ... advance the best environmental, health and social practices in order to decrease, and even begin to reverse, some of the profound negative impacts of the contemporary building industry on the environment, human health and society."

The Home Energy Saver - An Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Join NASA for Earth Day - Celebrate Earth Day with NASA.

Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth - From NASA, a huge online collection of astronaut photographs of the Earth.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Every Day is Earth Day at NOAA

Every hour of every day, NOAA is engaged in monitoring and preserving our planet. From satellites in space to observing systems in the deep ocean, NOAA provides science, service, and stewardship of our Earth. This page gives examples of these daily activities.

National Park Service - National Park Week is an annual Presidentially proclaimed week for celebration and recognition of your National Parks. National Park Week usually coincides with Earth Day (April 22). For 2016, National Park Week will be observed from Saturday, April 16 through Sunday, April 24.

The Pharos Project External Link - Pharos has information on " ... the critical health and environmental data about the manufacture, use, and end of life of building materials specified and used every day all delivered in an easy to use web based tool." External Link - Provides a central location for recycling information, news and community. Has a national directory of local recycling centers as well as information on recycling and tips on conservation. Promotes information sharing and connections through its blog.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) External Link - USGBC is composed of more than 13,500 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) External Link - Sponsored by the USGBC, the LEED Green  Building Rating System™ rates buildings for their environmental impact according to universally understood and  accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED certifies buildings have a low "environmental footprint."

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources - Jurisdiction includes energy and mineral resources; fisheries, wildlife and oceans; national parks, forests and public lands; water and power; insular affairs (U.S. territories), and relations with Native Americans and Native American tribes.

U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources - Jurisdiction includes energy resources and development, including regulation, conservation, strategic petroleum reserves and appliance standards; nuclear energy; Indian affairs; public lands and their renewable resources; surface mining, Federal coal, oil, and gas, other mineral leasing; territories and insular possessions; and water resources.

Compiled by MJ Cavallo, revised April 2017

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   September 15, 2017
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