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Geography 215: Biogeography

If you need help, please contact Sarah (Tong) Zhang, GIS&Map Librarian | Librarian for Geography | Librarian, Data Services Team at 778-782-9704 or tza68@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

Background sources

If you're not sure how to approach your topic, review your course readings and discussions to look for an entry point.  You may also find it helpful to look at one or more of the sources listed below:

E-Flora BC
Electronic atlas of the flora of British Columbia

E-Fauna BC
Electronic atlas of the wildlife of British Columbia

Flora of North America
Information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions, and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico

ClimateBC
Utilizes historical weather station data and global circulation model regional predictions to project future seasonal and annual climate variables in BC.

The Birds of North America
A continually updated, comprehensive reference for life history information on over 700 different bird species

The International Biogeography Society
The primary forum for biogeographers worldwide.

Tree book: Learning to recognize trees of British Columbia
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, British Columbia

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes

A Dictionary of Ecology
All aspects of ecology and related environmental scientific disciplines such as biogeography, genetics, soil science, geomorphology, atmospheric science, and oceanography.

BiodiversityBC
See reports (under Downloads) and links.

See SFU Library's Biological Sciences information resources: Background sources for recommended encyclopediae and handbooks for plants, animals, ecology, etc. Too many useful items to all list here, but there are some really valuable sources (which you will not find if you are simply searching the catalogue for your species).

Finding books & other materials using the library catalogue

Use the Library catalogue to look for books. For focussed search results, start with a keyword search to find relevant subject headings. Subject headings are specific terms that have been assigned to each book.  Searching by subject heading often yields more accurate results than searching by keyword. For more information about catalogue search, please refer to the Library Catalogue search guide.

For example, compare the results of a keyword search for owls and british columbia with the items with the subject heading Flammulated Owl: each set of books may be useful for different purposes. Notice that you will get different results depending on exactly how you construct your search.

For more information about searching the library catalogue, see Library Research Tutorials.

Using journal article databases

Use these databases to locate scholarly and popular information about your species:

GEOBASE
All geography subdisciplines.

Web of Science
Science Citation Index going back to 1900.  Covers all areas of Science. Major multidisciplinary database.

Environment Complete
Indexes over 1,900 environmental journals, with fulltext access to about 750. Also available is fulltext access to over 200 monographs.

GreenFILE
Focused on human impact on the environment. No full text, but you can use Citation Finder, Library Search, or Google Scholar to locate the full text of articles.  

Zoological Record plus Zoological Record Archive
All aspects of animal research.

Google Scholar
Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. See also: Search tips for Google and Google Scholar.

Canadian Newsstream
Newspapers. Potential resource for the human influences and conservation aspects of your report.

CBCA Complete
Current affairs. Includes articles from news magazines.

Recommended journals

The following journals may be particularly useful:

Searching for grey (non-academic) literature

Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing—government documents, reports, working papers, urban plans, etc. This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as NGOs and IGOs) where dissemination of information and reporting on activities is the goal before publishing an academic article or book.

For search strategies, links, and prebuilt custom searches for grey literature, see the Grey literature guide.

Finding maps and images

You have been asked to use a map, photo, table, or figure in your paper. See the following SFU Library guides for detailed instructions for Finding Maps and Atlases or Finding and Using Online Images.