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See also: Paleontology and Geography.

Selected Books

Allen, John Eliot
Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods
QE581.A43 2009
Chronicles the geological research that led to the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest. See also Bretz's Flood below and the DVD: Mystery of the Megaflood.
Alvarez, Walter
The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering the Geologic Events that Shaped Our Earth
QE11.A48 2009
One of the world's leading geologists takes readers into Italy's Apennine mountain range on a journey to discover the fascinating secrets of the earth's deep history.
Cutler, Alan
The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science Sainthood and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth
QE22.S77 C85 2003
In the bestselling tradition of The Map that Changed the World and Longitude, comes the tale of a seventeenth-century scientist-turned-priest who forever changed our understanding of the Earth and created a new field of science. He was the brilliant and enigmatic Nicholas Steno, the man whom Stephen Jay Gould called "the founder of geology."
Devastation and Renewal: An Environmental History of Pittsburgh and Its Region
Edited by Joel A. Tarr
GE155.P4 D48 2003
Nineteenth- or early twentieth-century visitors to Pittsburgh were frequently shocked by the ways the industrial environment dominated the natural landscape. Pittsburgh's rivers ran brown from the toxic chemicals, sewage, and refuse that filled them. Coal mines, coke ovens, and their huge piles of debris and ash waste littered the bald, muddy hills. After forests were cut down for fuel, the remaining flora and fauna died from the acidic effluents, garbage, and slag that piled up.
MacDougall, Douglas
Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages
QE698.M125 2004
Initially resisted, the idea that the earth experiences periodic ice ages is now widely accepted among scientific circles. MacDougall (earth science, U. of California at San Diego) describes the historical development of the science, from its first popularizers to present day investigators, explaining the basic concepts for a general audience along the way.
McPhee, John
Annals of the Former World
QE77.M38 1998
The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years.
Repcheck, Jack
The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity
QE22.H9 R47 2003x
"There are four men whose contributions helped free science from the straightjacket of theology. Three of the four - Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Charles Darwin - are widely known and heralded for their breakthroughs. The fourth, James Hutton, has never received the same recognition, yet he profoundly changed our understanding of the earth and its dynamic forces." -- Jack Repcheck
Soennichsen, John
Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood
QE22.B74 S64 2008
Geologist J. Harlen Bretz claimed that the Washington Scablands around Spokane were created by water in a series of massive prehistoric floods, unleashed each time glacial Lake Missoula drained. Ridiculed at the time (1920s), the advent of aerial photography proved his theory true.

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles, browse the library catalog under the subjects:


Pittsburgh Region




United States

  • American Geological Institute (AGI)
    The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 41 geoscientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Their website contains links to other websites they have created to encourage education in the earth sciences.
    • Earth Science World
      Provides current news of interest in the earth sciences, activities for k-12 students
    • EarthComm
      EarthComm is an Earth Science curriculum developed by the American Geological Institute (AGI) which focuses attention on the national deficiency in high school Earth Science education (grades 9-12) and on development of a complete high-school Earth Science curriculum.
    • GeoRef
      The GeoRef database, established by the American Geological Institute in 1966, provides access to the geoscience literature of the world. GeoRef is the most comprehensive database in the geosciences and continues to grow by more than 70,000 references a year (79,797 in 2000). The database contains over 2.2 million references to geoscience journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports and theses.
    • Earth
      Formerly Geotimes, the newsmagazine of the Earth Sciences
  • Association of American State Geologists (AASG)
    The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) is an organization of the chief executives of the state geological surveys in 50 states and Puerto Rico. There are links to each state's geological survey.
  • The Geologic Story of the Great Plains
    A nontechnical description of the origin and evolution of the landscape of the Great Plains by Donald E. Trimble, Geological Survey Bulletin 1493, United States Government Printing Office, Washington : 1980
  • Geological Society of America
    The professional society for earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry. In addition to professional development resources, their website provides educational resources for grades k-12, includes a public interest area, and their publications (Geology, Bulletin, and GSA Today), abstracts and table of contents are free.
  • The National Atlas of the United States of America
    From the United States Geological Survey.
  • US Geological Survey: Geology
    Includes a section for Ask USGS.
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Soils
    Soils is part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, an effort of Federal and State agencies, universities, and professional societies to deliver scientifically based soil information. There are some soil surveys in pdf format for some counties in some states.