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GLY 2750--Library Scavenger Hunt Assignment: Home

The goal of this assignment is to help you navigate the library’s website to search for and find articles that will be relevant to your paper topic. There will also be a few questions geared towards familiarizing yourself with papers.

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Library Scavenger Hunt

The goal of this assignment is to help you navigate the library’s website to search for and find articles that will be relevant to your paper topic. There will also be a few questions geared towards familiarizing yourself with papers.

Part 1. Go to the Belk Library website:

Find the databases related to Environmental Science. The second one in the list is called Environment Complete. Open that database and look for “Climate change in western North Carolina”.

1. How many search results are there using this database? 

2. What is the title of the first result in the list (when sorted by relevance)?

3. How many authors does this publication have?

4. What is the name of the journal in which this article is published?

5. What is the year of publication?

6. Do you think this is a good article to read if you are trying to understand the broad topic of “Climate change in western North Carolina”? Why or why not?

7. Can you download a copy of the pdf without reaching a paywall?

Part 2. Now do the same search using google scholar.

1. How many search results are there using this database? 

2. What is the title of the first result in the list?

3. How many authors does this publication have?

4. What is the name of the journal in which this article is published?

5. What is the year of publication?

6. Do you think this is a good article to read if you are trying to understand the broad topic of “Climate change in western North Carolina”? Why or why not?

7. Can you download a copy of the pdf without reaching a paywall?

Part 3. Now use the Web of Science database (can be found under both Environmental Science and Geology) and search for “Native trout populations in North Carolina”.

1. What is the title of the oldest result in the list (sort by date)?

2. What year was this article published?

3. Is this article actually about native trout populations?

4. Go back and sort by relevance instead of date. Then look at the second result on this Web of Science page. What year was this article published?

5. How many citations does this article have?

6. In what year was the most recent citation?

7. Who is the second author of this most recent citation and what is their affiliation?

8. Who provided funding for the study?

Part 4. Now look for databases related to geology. Open Georef and instead of doing a basic search (the default), do an advanced search.

In the first line put “Devonian fish fossils”. In the second line choose NOT and then type “USA”. This should help you find articles about Devonian fish fossils not located in the US.

1. How many search results are there?

2. Let’s imagine that you only want articles, you don’t want anything that is just an abstract. So check the box on the left side of the page that says “Exclude Abstract Only”. Now how many search results are there?

3. Use the slider bar or the from and to boxes, to only search for articles published from 1960 to the present. How many articles were published between 1868 and 1960?

4. Now, let’s say you are particularly interested in articles that were published about Devonian fish fossils found in Asia. In the third search bar choose AND and then Asia. Now how many articles are there?

5. How many of them were written in Russian?

6. Of the articles that you found on Devonian fossil fish in Asia, how many of them are journal articles?

Part 5. E-Journals.

1a. Does the library have access to the journal “Conservation Biology”?

b. If so, what years of the journal can you access?

2a. Does the library have access to the journal “Groundwater”?

b. If you wanted to look at the oldest issues of this journal and the newest, which publisher’s link should you access?

c. Click on this publisher’s link and go to the July/August 2021 issue of Groundwater. What is the title of the first research paper in this issue?

d. On what page does this research paper begin?

3. Does the library have access to the journal “Nature Geoscience” for the year 2010?

Part 6. Finding books in the library.

1. Does the library have a copy of the book titled, “Grand Canyon Geology”?

2. What is the call number for this book?

4. What year was this book published?

5. Is this book checked out right now?

6. Does the library have a copy of the book titled, “Yangtze River: geography, pollution and environmental implications”?

7. What is the call number for this book?

8. Who are the editors of this book?

9. Who is the publisher of this book?

10. Is this book checked out right now?


 GLY 2750 – Preparation for Careers in Earth and Environmental Sciences 

Spring 2023 

Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45am, meets in Rankin Science South 118 

Dr. Jamie Levine (she/her pronouns) 

e-mail: Office phone: 828-262-2166 Office: RSW 037 

Office Hours: Tuesday 11-1:30, Thursday 11-1, 3-4, or by appointment 

Course home page: On ASULearn ( 

Course overview: This course provides instruction in geological and environmental science research methods, through both oral and written communication. Topics include: quantitative and qualitative analysis, image processing, survey of scientific literature and digital information retrieval services, research design, data management, and research ethics. Student learning is augmented with peer-review of fellow students’ work and participation in review and revision processes. All activities are designed to help prepare students to more effectively conduct projects and communicate with fellow STEM professionals in their future careers. This is the Junior Writing in the Discipline (WID) course for Geological and Environmental Sciences. 

Course Goals 

The goals of this course are many, but the most important ones include: 

 Development of scientific writing skills: reviewing and synthesizing the scientific literature, organizing and modeling your research paper after peer-reviewed research papers in the fields of geology and environmental science; analyzing data presented in publications 

 Honing poster presentation skills: creating aesthetically pleasing posters, distilling your research paper into smaller chunks to be presented on your poster; delivering an oral poster presentation 

 Gaining experience and developing proficiency in using specific software packages, including Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator 

 Assembling necessary products for professional internship and job searches 

 Distinguishing between responsible and irresponsible conduct of research and clarifying issues of morality that may arise while undertaking the scientific method 


Classroom Philosophy 

Everybody learns differently from one another, and as a result I will try to combine a variety of classroom techniques including traditional powerpoint lecture, writing on the board, and lots of hands-on activities. This is not a class where you can sit quietly and take notes. Former geology majors have commonly said this was the best/most important class they took at App. I expect you to ask questions and I will ask questions of you throughout class. You should be prepared to participate and because the class is so small you should get to know your peers! Please ask any questions that you have (don’t be shy), and if you are working on an assignment and come up with questions, feel free to e-mail me or write them down to ask at the beginning of class. The more questions you ask and the more you seek my help, the more you will get out of this class. Don’t be a stranger and don’t be silent!! To encourage peer learning, you will do some short exercises in class in small groups or pairs, and you will work with a peer on editing. 

Classroom Courtesy 

Everyone does not have the same perspectives and we all come into the classroom everyday with different experiences and different backgrounds. I ask that everyone is respectful of everyone else, which means listening to different ideas and viewpoints, and not making comments that will offend anyone else. Everyone is this classroom is an equal and should be treated as such. If you are a person who likes to answer questions and participate a lot, that is absolutely fantastic, but please give others the opportunity to interject as well. 

Please turn your cell phones to silent before you come into class and keep them away throughout the entire class. Remember that the goal of taking classes is to learn about new things and the best way to do that is arrive promptly, pay attention, and avoid being disruptive in class. 

GES Diversity and Inclusion Statement 

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences seeks to provide all of our students with a comprehensive education focused on hands-on learning through dynamic labs and field trips, carefully crafted experiments, and opportunities to engage in cutting edge research. In order to provide a strong education that serves as the foundation for future career success we are dedicated to nurturing a culture of openness and mutual respect, where all voices are heard. We as the faculty and staff of the department are committed to providing an inclusive environment, in which there is no place for discrimination based on race, sex, ability, age, culture, sexual orientation, religion or religious beliefs, or any other form of harassment or bias. Our diversity in all forms broadens our perspectives, leads to the generation of new ideas and approaches to conducting science, and enriches our community. Please talk to me if there are incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bias that I am failing to address in the classroom or more broadly in the department; I hope this is a community that together will establish a more inclusive climate. 

Accommodation and Disability Policy 

Appalachian State University is committed to making reasonable accommodations for individuals with documented qualifying disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If you have a disability and may need reasonable accommodations in order to have equal access to the University’s courses, programs and activities, please contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056 or Once registration is complete, individuals will meet with ODR staff to discuss eligibility and appropriate accommodations. 

Homelessness and Food Insecurity 

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Dean of Students, 324 Plemmons Student Union, for a list of resources and support. The Mountaineer Food Hub and Free Store is a free resource with pantry and personal care items, located in the Office of Sustainability on the bottom floor of East Hall. There are also other campus pantries in the following locations: Belk Library, College of Education, Garwood Hall, Leon Levine, and College Access and Success in DD Dougherty. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to assist you with finding the resources you may need. 

Counseling Services 

There are a number of resources available through the Counseling Center, which is part of your student services. The Counseling Center has resources for students who are in crisis, students who are feeling overwhelmed by coursework and college life, and students who need someone to talk to for any reason. The website for the Counseling Center also has links to other mental health resources 

Student Engagement with Courses 

In its mission statement, Appalachian State University aims at "providing undergraduate students a rigorous liberal education that emphasizes transferable skills and preparation for professional careers" as well as "maintaining a faculty whose members serve as excellent teachers and scholarly mentors for their students." Such rigor means that the foremost activity of Appalachian students is an intense engagement with their courses. In practical terms, students should expect to spend two to three hours of studying for every hour of class time. Hence, a fifteen-hour academic load might reasonably require between 30 and 45 hours per week of out-of-class work. 

Academic Integrity 

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and will not be tolerated in this course. The Academic Integrity code states that: “Students attending Appalachian State University agree to abide by the following Code: 

• Students will not lie, cheat, or steal to gain academic advantage. 

• Students will oppose every instance of academic dishonesty.” 


Students should familiarize themselves with all of the details of Appalachian State’s Academic Integrity Code which can be found online at: 

Attendance Policy 

The university’s attendance policy, including absences related to religious holidays can be viewed here: 

In this course if you miss 4 or more classes your grade for the course will be dropped a full letter grade. Make every effort to attend class each day. 

Presentation dates are non-negotiable! If there is a problem with any of the dates, please discuss it with me the first week of classes (emergencies excepted). ASU policy explicitly states; “A student may take the examination at a time other than that scheduled only for REASONS OF GREAT HARDSHIP and with the permission of the instructor.” If you miss an exam because you are ill you must have a doctor’s note, otherwise you will be unable to make-up the exam. 

This course also follows the university’s inclement weather policy, which can be found here: Prep is challenging, and in order to understand the material, you need to show up. If you are sick and must miss class I understand, but please let me know if you will have an extended absence. 

Responsibility to check your e-mail 

Appalachian State has an e-mail policy: “E-mail as official means of communication.” The full description of the policy can be found here:

Mail_As_Official_Means_of_Communication. For this course I expect you to check your e-mail 

Public Sharing of Course Materials 

All course materials, including video, may be subject to intellectual property protections under applicable law and regulation and are for the sole use of students enrolled in this class. Students do not have permission to copy or record materials except for personal use in the context of this class and students do not have permission to share any class materials, including videos, in any manner on any platform without my prior express permission. 

Reporting Obligations 

Appalachian State University is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment for all students, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, and gender identity. To meet this commitment, and to comply with state and federal laws, Appalachian faculty are required to complete a referral to the Office of Title IX Compliance for any instances of Sex-Based Misconduct, such as sexual harassment, dating or domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or any form of gender-based harassment/discrimination. The purpose of the referral is to ensure you are made aware of the campus and community resources and support that are available to you at no cost and so that you are aware of your reporting options. Once a referral is made, a Case Manager will reach out to you privately, and discuss the resources and support available to you. You will not be required to participate in an investigation or discuss this incident and the university will not take action without your consent unless there is an immediate safety concern to the campus community. Whatever level of participation you choose, your privacy and confidentiality are of the utmost importance, which is why you may seek resources and support whether you participate in an investigation or not. Please visit or call (828) 262-2144 for more information or follow us on Instagram @Appstatetix. 

Due to strict FERPA regulations, I cannot give out any grade information via email, so please don’t ask. Please also remember that when you are writing me an e-mail you are not texting a friend, so please remember to proofread your message and include both a heading (i.e. Dear Dr. Levine/Dr. L, Jamie, etc.) and a closing with your name (i.e. Thanks, Jamie). 

Required Materials 

There are no required textbooks for this course, but you will be expected to access readings on AsULearn and scientific literature through the library. 

University Writing Center 

In Prep, you will learn how to write a research paper for the Geological and Environmental Sciences. However, if you are struggling with writing in general, you should consider visiting the University Writing Center. It is a free service, and they can help you to improve your writing, so that you can focus on honing your scientific writing. 

at least every 24 hours (weekends excepted) and respond promptly to any e-mails that require action. I will post announcements on AsULearn so I expect you to check out the course website frequently. In exchange for your attentiveness to my e-mails, I will promise to respond to your emails within 24 hours as well (weekends excepted). 

Grade Breakdown 

In this course you will spend a lot of time on assignments, but will have the ability to revise and improve your work. The bulk of your grade is based on short assignments, a major research paper, and presentations. If you miss four classes or more, your grade will be dropped a full letter grade. Category 



Professional and Career 

5 Seminars at 5 pts each 


Join professional society 

Resume and Cover letter 


Interview Reflection 


Scientific Writing and Research Project 

Library Scavenger Hunt 


Submit three choices of paper topics 

Detailed outline with references 


1st draft of introduction 


Peer review of introduction 


1st draft of Methods/Results (with graph) 


Peer review of Methods/Results 


1st draft of Future Work and Discussion 


Peer review of Future Work and Discussion 


Grant proposal 




Final Paper and Response to Comments 




Specialized Software 

1st Illustrator Assignment 


2nd Illustrator Assignment 


Excel Assignment 




Library Research Tools

How does the university library work?

Generally, the university library purchases or subscribes to all sorts of specialized information to support the research that happens in the various majors here at App State - research being done by both students and professors.

This information takes many forms: books, ebooks, streaming films, peer-reviewed journals (mostly online), and much more.

Because it supports the majors, the information is mostly organized by discipline or subject in our physical and online spaces.

In other words, all of our physical books about biology 'live' together on the shelves in Belk Library. And all of our online content about biology can accessed through our databases for biology available via Belk Library's website.

What's a library database?

Databases are just searchable online collections of information that the library subscribes to. Because these are subscription-based, or "behind the paywall," this is information that only App State students and professors have access to. It's also helpful to know that some larger databases contain research from multiple disciplines.


What is APPsearch?

APPsearch is Belk Library's portal that allows students to search most of our research databases at one time. You can find it on our homepage. Think of it as "Google for the library" - it's a great place to start and is intended to save students time and effort. It allows you to quickly find and access books, ebooks, journal articles, and more. 

Click here to watch a video tutorial on how to use APPsearch.

Anatomy of an AppSearch Results Page

This is an interactive sample search from an AppSearch search results page. In this case, the search used the keywords, college student and anxiety. Click the "I" icons to learn more about the different parts of the page.

The "Find@ASU" Button

Once you're in APPsearch, you might notice this as a potential option to access the full-text of a source. The following interactive image offers some ideas of where you could end up.

But what if I want to find a book?

Finding a book using our online catalog is fairly straightforward. This video tutorial shows you how.

Science Librarian

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Stephanie Bennett
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
218 College Street
Boone, NC 28608