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ENV 385W - Resources for Paper 1 and Paper 2

Keywords for Paper 1.

Below are some main concepts to consider searching when researching PAPER 1 on an energy or mineral resource of the West. Notice that there are a variety of different keywords that can be used to represent each concept.

CONCEPT 1:

Your particular mine, dam, wind farm, power plant, or other resource

CONCEPT 2:

Your industry     

CONCEPT 3:

Exploitation, use, history, etc.

CONCEPT 4:

Stakeholders or effects on stakeholders

CONCEPT 5:

Policies and regulations

CONCEPT 6:

Opportunities or obstacles

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

Let's say you were researching Kayenta Mine. If so, keywords might include:

Kayenta Mine

Peabody Energy

Peabody Coal

Peabody Western Coal

Black Mesa

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

wind energy

wind power

wind farms

wind turbines

wind park

solar energy

solar power

solar farms

solar parks

mines

mining

extraction

dams

damming

hydropower

hydroelectric 

etc.

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

history

timeline

development

use

usage

utilization

exploitation

function

applications

products OR production

"end products"

manufacture

manufacturing

etc.

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

politicians

shareholders

government

consumers

stakeholders

landowners

farmers

Native Americans

ranchers

community impact

environmental impact

remediation

disease incidence -- or cancer rates

social impact

disputes

etc.

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

federal

policy

policies

regulate

regulation

regulators

policy recommendations

planning

future planning

future policies

laws

legislation

EPA or Environmental Protection Agency

DOE or Department of Energy

etc.

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

problems

concerns

complications

hurdles

obstacles

disputes

issues

potential

un-tapped

new

"new applications"

future

untried

etc.

Also, if you are looking for financial information for a particular power plant, then try Google searches on the name of your power plant along with the words "annual report."

Keywords for Paper 2.

Below are some main concepts to consider searching when researching PAPER 2 - your international energy portfolio report. Notice that there are a variety of different keywords that can be used to represent each concept.

CONCEPT 1:

Your country

CONCEPT 2:

General energy issues

CONCEPT 3:

Specific energy issues

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

[Your chosen country]

 

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

energy

energy resources

natural resources

solar energy

wind energy

nuclear energy

etc.

 

KEYWORDS TO EXPERIMENT WITH:

history OR historical

infrastructure

population

per capita

electrification

production

emissions

demand

supply

corruption

per capita

renewable

poverty

policy OR policies

efficiency

renewable

sustainable OR sustainability

reduction

consumption

planning

etc.

 

Understand why and how to use keywords.

1. Why search with keywords rather than sentences? And, why eliminate ALL non-essential keywords?

  • Here's a sloppy, wordy, Google Scholar search: How has Kayenta Mine affected the Navajo?
  • VS. a Google Scholar search using keywords only: Kayenta Mine Navajo
  • Try the same searches in Proquest Agricultural and Environmental Database to see the comparison.
  • Why are simple keyword searches more effective?

2. Why experiment with a variety of searches where you switch in different keywords for concepts?

  • For example, what if instead of searching Kayenta Mine and Navajo, you switched in the company that owns Kayenta Mind, Peabody Coal -- so try: Peabody Coal Navajo. Do you get different results? Do they look relevant? Sometimes Peabody Coal is called Peabody Energy, what if you tried that? Do you get different results? Do they look relevant?
  • Lets say you were researching a solar energy plant and wanted to get an overview of solar energy policy in the United States. Try it in EBSCO databases and compare the results with solar power policy United States. Or try regulation instead of policyDo you get different results? Do they look relevant? What can you learn from that?

3. Why experiment with a variety of searches where you include different concepts and/or more or fewer concepts? 

  • A search on your particular power plant -- such as the solar power plant Solana Generating Station is going to lead to interesting results. But why would you ALSO do some searches where you exclude the name of your power station and instead search more generally on your INDUSTRY -- like the searches above on solar power policy United States?
  • How does experimenting with different combinations of concepts -- or experimenting with more or fewer concepts help you find information? 

4. If switching in different keywords (a.k.a. synonyms) for your concepts is helpful for finding new information, then how do you go about finding synonyms?

  • Start with a search - any search. Before clicking on any of your results, glance over them to get keyword ideas. Expert searchers are constantly scanning their results and mining for new and/or better keywords before they click on a result; expert searchers practice what's called click restraint.

Search using keywords -- don't use sentences or irrelevant words.