prairie

Prairie Research

KirtPrairie.jpg

Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, contact us.

Questions? Feel free to contact me, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat.

Want to know more about the COD library? Check out our orientation video.

Image Credit: COD Newsroom: Russell Kirt Prairie. No alterations.
  1. Prairie Books
  2. Prairie Articles and Websites
  3. Using the Archive

Books

Books can provide good research about a variety of prairie topics, including history, ecology, and related subjects.

General Prairie Books

Working on a prairie-related topic? If so, try looking through the books on the following topics. I have not listed every book we own that focuses on the prairie, but these will get you started.

Tallgrass Prairie by John Madson and Frank Oberle QH104.5.M47 M34 1993

Grassland Dynamics: Long-Term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie by Alan K. Knapp. QH105.K3 G73 1998

The Ecology and Management of Prairies in The Central United States by Chris Helzer QH104.5.M47 H45 2010

Illinois Wilds by Michael R. Jeffords, Susan L. Post, Kenneth Ray Robertson. QH105.I3 J4 1995

Prairie: A Natural History by Candace Sherk Savage, David Suzuki Foundation. QH102 .S38 2011

Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie by Aimée Larrabee and John Altman QH104 .L33 2001

Plants of the Prairies

Prairie Plants Of The Midwest: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK938.P7 K5 1995 (in Reference and On Reserve)

Prairie Plants Of Northern Illinois: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK157 .K5 1989x

Prairie Establishment And Landscaping by William E. McClain, Illinois. Division of Natural Heritage., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. QK938.P7 M24 2003

Best Groundcovers And Vines For The Prairies by Hugh Skinner, Sara Williams, Lesley Reynolds. SB432 .S552 2007

Edible Wild Plants Of The Prairie : An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher. QK 98.5 .U6 K56 1987

Medicinal Wild Plants Of The Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher. E78.G73 K56 1992

Animals of the Prairies

The Prairie Gardener's Book of Bugs: A Guide to Living With Common Garden Insects by Nora Bryan, Grace Buzik, Ruth Staal. SB931 .B79 2003

Grassland Dynamics: Long-Term Ecological Research in Tallgrass Prairie by Alan K. Knapp. QH105.K3 G73 1998 *See description

The Ecology and Management of Prairies in The Central United States by Chris Helzer QH104.5.M47 H45 2010 *Includes animal info

The Russell R. Kirt Prairie

First, start by checking out the books we have that were authored by Kirt:
Plant Species And Management Plan For College Of Dupage's Marshes And Woodlands by Russell R. Kirt, College of DuPage. QK157 .K49 2000

Prairie Plants Of The Midwest: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK938.P7 K5 1995 (in Reference and On Reserve)

Prairie Plants Of Northern Illinois: Identification And Ecology by Russell Kirt. QK157 .K5 1989x

You can also check out the Archives tab above to see what unique items appear in our collection.

The Prairie Ecology sections of the collection are QH104-105 and QH541.5. Feel free to browse our collections. However, keep in mind that plants (QK, SB) and animals (QL) have their own subject areas where you may also find interesting items...

You can also use I-Share to request books owned by other libraries in Illinois.

Finding Articles and Websites about the Prairie

Need scholarly articles about prairie topics? Try the following databases:

Science Direct is a scholarly article database. Try searching by at least two keywords. Need help? Check out this tutorial. You'll need an active library card to access it.

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles, and has a variety of prairie-focused research.

Google Scholar indexes a variety of scholarly research about the prairie. Want to use Google Scholar to help identify what you have access to in our library? Watch this short tutorial on how to do that!

Websites

The Prairie Research Institute has good information about current prairie research.

Prairie Biotic Research, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit created to fund prairie research projects. You can search research projects by state, date, and topic.

The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (run by USGS) has reports on topics like honeybees and native polinators, wolves, and oil and natural gas development, among others.

Archives

Want to know more about the Russell Kirt Prairie on the COD campus?

More info can be found in the College Archives, including photos, documents and articles. Contact Jenny Dunbar using the Archives page to arrange a time to do research in the archives.

Environmental Ethics

KirtPrairie.jpg

Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus.

Questions? Feel free to contact me, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Want to know more about the COD library? Check out our orientation video.

Image Credit: COD Newsroom: Russell Kirt Prairie. No alterations.
  1. Find Books
  2. Find Articles
  3. Read Research Articles
  4. Example Paper

Finding Books

Books are great resources to use to get started on your paper topic. They often are written for a general audience but have focused chapters, and can give you necessary background to interpret scholarly articles.

In order to discover what print or electronic books we may have that will help your research, start by searching the library catalog.

Once you pull up the catalog page, type in a few words related to your topic such as prairie and medicine.
environmental ethics_cat.PNG

A new tab will open with book results displayed. Write down the title, location, and call number of any books that look interesting. Bring that info to the library reference desk in order to have help finding the books.

environmental ethics_cat2.PNG

Prairie Research

Is your topic focused on the prairie? If so, check out the bibliography and other resources on the prairie research guide.

Finding Articles

There are two databases where you might find helpful articles for your topic. It is crucial, when you search databases, to use at least two words or ideas in your search. For example, a search of prairie in Academic Search Complete will get you almost 22,000 articles. A search of prairie and economics will drop that number to 650.

Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete will have a mix of scholarly and popular articles on many different topics related to the environment.

Science Direct
This database will be able to help some of you with more complex topics dig up information. When you search Science Direct, you'll be looking through a database of scientific scholarly articles. You will also find only full-text information as long as you leave "subscribed journals" selected.

SD_lawn.PNG
Notice the following:

  1. I've used at least two keywords.
  2. "Subscribed Journals" is checked.

Remember, if you find a great article for your topic, don't hesitate to look at the subject headings listed in the article-- maybe you could change your search terms to get more related articles!

Reading a Scholarly Article

Struggling to read your scientific scholarly article, even though it looks like it might be perfect for your purpose?

Try using the info below as a guidepost to help you understand the article.

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

If you are using a scientific research article, you'll see the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract: a paragraph summary of the research question and findings
  • Introduction: the research question: what did the scientists set out to know? Also provides context to the study: what did we know about the topic? Who answered the most important questions so far? Will include many citations.
  • Method: the experiment design
  • Results: The data gathered by the experiment
  • Discussion: analyzes the results. What do we understand about the topic after the experiment has been conducted?
  • Conclusion: lists further questions to be studied
  • References or Works Cited: functions just as yours will. What research has been referenced throughout the paper?

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, be combined together (results and discussion often share a single section) or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

scholarly article marked.png
Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The (unmarked) introduction

Want to take a closer look? Cladophora (Chlorophyta) spp. Harbor Human Bacterial Pathogens in Nearshore Water of Lake Michigan is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Review Articles

Scientific review articles aim to summarize current research on a topic, leading to a comparison of what is known about a topic as well as questions that remain to be addressed. Review articles will often summarize tens of articles, and so a long list of works cited is to be expected. Review articles also do not typically follow the structure of a research article. Often times, the word "review" will appear in the title.

Want to take a closer look? Infant Feeding and Risk of Developing Celiac Disease: A Systematic Review is a review article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Remember to start with your abstract. The summary will tell you where the authors are heading and help you to fight through confusing sections.
  • Don't hesitate to read the article through twice.
  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Student Example

Check out “Foraging Behavior of Rodent and Songbird Populations, Examined with Variation of Predatory Risk” by Abe Whiting for an example of student scientific writing at COD.

Subscribe to RSS - prairie