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Navigation Environmental Sciences - Subject Support

This page covers resources in some of the subjects in the Environmental Sciences: Agrometeorology, Geography, Soil Science and Environmental Management.

The following centres on Environment and Development and Centre for Rural Development Systems (CERDES) are also covered.

Physical resources are housed in the following libraries:

  • Life Sciences Library, Pietermaritzburg
  • Cecil Renaud Main Library, Pietermaritzburg
  • Main Library, Westville
  • EG Malherbe Library, Howard College

Edminson Library, Edgewood, stocks a range of geography texts.

The Library website is the gateway for information about library services and facilities as well identifying available print and online information resources. Off campus access requires authentication first. Much academic information is not freely available on Google, so these information resources will need to be accessed via the Library’s website.

Finding Books and Journals

  • Use the library catalogue iLink OPAC to search for print books and journals housed in the UKZN libraries. Where electronic access is also available, the URL link is provided. Use ‘Electronic Resource’s on the top navigation bar of the Library website to guide you to e-Books and e-Journals.
  • All books are arranged in number order. In the Pietermaritzburg campus libraries, journals are arranged alphabetically by title whilst in the Westville and Howard College campus libraries, journals are arranged in number order. Many journals and articles are now available online: see the section below on Searching for journal articles.
  • Increasingly the UKZN Library is subscribing to online books. Google Books is also an option to access free content of books.  Some organisations such as National Academies Press (Geography, soil science, climate, geology, ecology, environmental conservation and issues etc.) provide free full text access to their book collections. Some e-books and e-book collections subscribed to by the Library include: Encyclopedia Britannica; Europa world yearbook; Fundamentals of biogeography; Fundamentals of geomorphology; E-book collection on Ebscohost.

Searching for Journal Articles

Journal articles and conference papers are indexed in online databases. The Library’s iLink catalogue only lists the names and holdings of journals, not articles in them.

There are various ways to access journals and journal articles. Click on the Managing information resources guide for an explanation of these options.

  • Lists of appropriate databases for Environmental Sciences; Geography; Science and Agriculture are available.
  • You can also use the e-Journals option on the Library website to locate articles and identify those journals for which online access is available.
  • It is important to note that the full text of articles is not always available. For those articles that are available full text: print, save, download and export options are often available.
  • Off campus access to databases requires authentication from the Library website (under Electronic resources option on the toolbar). There is also the option to download VPN client from the University’s software library. VPN client allows you seamless off campus access.

Reference Sources

Useful dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, statistical sources and other reference materials such as atlases in the Librariescan be found by searching the catalogue. For a list of some helpful reference works click on the following options:Environmental Sciences reference works and Geography reference works.

Other Information

To find other types of information click on the following links:Theses and Dissertations; Newspaper articles, Government publicationsGoogle maps is one of many free sites for accessing maps of countries and regions and Geographyis a useful site for outline maps; Maps of World has a useful range of regional and thematic maps.


Web links for resources in environmental sciences can also be found on the Internet by using Google Scholar , Scirus and Scopus. Click here for a list of other useful web sites.

Plagiarism and referencing

Bibliographic management packages

  • The ICT department supports the desktop version of Endnote. The license allows for staff and students to download this programme onto personal computers.
  • Endnote XV is now available and is downloadable from the University’s software library.
  • Subject librarians offer training in the basics of Endnote upon request for classes. The University expert is Hilary Reynolds and queries for his attention must be logged through the ICT heat system.
  • The online package Refworks is available under the Databases A-Z option on the Library website. Registration is necessary but free.

Past exam papers

The University maintains a centralised past exam paper site for those papers made available by departments.

Information Skills

User education for Environmental Sciences is provided by the Subject Librarians at all the UKZN Libraries.

Assistance and Enquiries

For more information about the UKZN Library services, or assistance with finding information, please contact one of the Subject Librarians in your branch library:

Howard College:

             Rebecca Msomi: Geography,

             Email:; extn: 2061  



Life sciences library:

Shorba Harkhu:  Agrometeorology, Geography, Soil science

            Email:; extn: 5162


Cecil Renaud main library:
            Rosemary Kuhn: Geography

            Email:; extn: 5904



            PhumlaLuhabe: Environmental sciences

            Email:; extn: 7453 


            PravinaLaljeeth: Environmental sciences
            Email:; extn: 7422.

January 2012