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A Guide to Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS)

This guide points to selected resources in the area of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS). Information about Washington University and its libraries is also found here.

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Earth & Planetary Sciences

Collection: General

Date Revised:April 16, 2014

Subject Librarian: Clara McLeod


1. General purpose:

To support the research and teaching activities of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, including 100 and 200 level courses that many undergraduates need to fulfill graduation requirements in the sciences.  Research is funding by NASA, NSF, DOE and other sources.

Students enter programs offering the bachelor, master or doctoral degrees.  Undergraduates can major and minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences and in Environmental Earth Sciences.  Graduate programs in Earth and Planetary Sciences are offered leading to the master’s and doctoral degrees, but graduate students enter the Ph.D. graduate program.  The interdisciplinary nature of earth sciences allows undergraduates with backgrounds in chemistry, physics, math, and engineering to apply for admission to the graduate program.  The department emphasizes interdisciplinary links among geology, geochemistry, geophysics, geobiology, and planetary sciences.  The department has strong connections to other departments in Arts & Sciences (anthropology, biology, physics) and to the Washington University School of Medicine and School of Engineering. It also has a strong relationship with the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences.

U.S. News and World Report (2006) reports that our department is the smallest national ranked department in earth sciences, geophysics, and geochemistry.  The department brochure states that the department has an integrated program of instruction and research that treats Earth as a planet and makes direct use of knowledge gained by exploring the solar system. 

The EPSc Department consists of 16 Full-time tenure track faculty, 4 Research Faculty and Professors, 7 post-docs, 33 graduate students, and 42 undergraduates – 19 majoring in Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPSc) and 23 majoring in Environmental Earth Sciences (EES).  (2013 statistics)


2. Subjects excluded: 

  • In Astronomy:
    • General History
    • Practical and Spherical Astronomy
    • Theoretical Astronomy and Celestial Mechanics
    • Astrophysics
    • Non-optical Methods of Astronomy
    • Stellar Evolution
  • In Physics: 
    • All subject areas except geophysics, geomagnetism, meteorology, and climatology. 
  • In Earth Sciences:
    • Paleontology although there is a significant collection of older materials in paleontology and some book requested by faculty for coursework
    • Geographic Information Systems


3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

  • Parts of Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Anthropology
  • Medicine
  • McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences
  • Covers interdisciplinary areas such as:
    • Geobiology
    • ​Geochemistry
    • Geoarchaeology
    • ​Geochronology
    • Geomorphology, etc.  


4. Languages included and excluded:

Primarily English although the collection contains older materials in German and French.Current materials are collected only in English.

5. Geographical limitations:

None. Particular attention to areas where faculty have research interests.


6. Chronological limits:



7. Retrospective acquisition:

Replacement of lost and older materials when requested by faculty.Materials needed to support new courses and research areas. Current requests to get digital subscriptions to GSA special publications and AAPG special publications.


8. Types of material collected and excluded:

  • Includes:
    • Textbooks
    • Lab manuals
    • Guidebooks
    • Maps
    • State Geological Survey Publications
    • Faculty Publications
    • A-V Materials Requested by Faculty
  • Excludes:
    • K-12 materials except educational materials for presentations to schools
    • Reprints if the original is in the collection
    • Geographic Information Systems.


9. Other factors to consider:

  • Participates in Purchase On Request program
  • Non-Duplication of Print and E-books,
  • Purchase print books when requested by faculty or graduate students
  • Non-duplication of monographs received in CRC Netbase or Safaari subscriptions or e-book packages (e.g., Science Direct)
  • Journal subscriptions are electronic only unless available in print only 


10. Subjects and Collecting Levels (Collecting levels at 3 or 4 unless otherwise noted):




CC: Archaeology

  • CC77.5: Stratification. Archaeological Geology


G: Geography (General)

  • G70.39-70.6: Remote Sensing
  • 2: G109.5--GPS


GA: Mathematical geography. Cartography

  • 1-2: GA101-201--Cartography. (General & History)


GB: Physical geography

  • 1-2: GB1-399--Physical geography (general)
  • GB400-649: Geomorphology. Landforms. Terrain
  • GB651-2998: Hydrology. Water
  • GB5000-5030: Natural disasters

2: GC--Oceanography


GE: Environmental sciences

  • 2: GE1-125--General. History. Philosophy. Ethics
  • 2: GE140-160--Environmental Degradation by Region or Country


QB: Astronomy

  • 2: QB275-348--Geodesy
  • 2: QB3401-408--Satellites (Including individual planetary satellites)
  • QB450-453: Cosmochemistry
  • QB454-459: Astrogeology
  • QB500.5-506: Solar system. General works
  • QB579: Solar system. Lunar eclipses
  • QB580-594: Solar system. Moon
  • QB595-704: Solar system. Planets, planetology
  • QB705-737: Solar system. Comets
  • QB738-739: Solar system. Meteoroids
  • QB740-753: Solar system. Meteors
  • QB754-761: Solar system. Meteorites
  • QB770-789: Solar system. Spectroscopy of moon, planets, comets, etc.
  • QB820: Stars. Extrasolar planets


QC: Physics

  • QC801-809: Geophysics. Cosmic physics
  • QC811-849: Geomagnetism
  • 1-2: QC851-979--Meteorology
  • QC879.6: Atmospheric Chemistry
  • QC884: Paleoclimatology
  • QC980-999: Climatology and weather


QD: Chemistry

  • 1-2: QD1-999--Chemistry (General, Analytical, Crystallography)
  • QD901-999: Crystallography


QE: Geology

  • QE1-350.62: General (Including geographical divisions)
  • QE351-399.2: Mineralogy
  • QE420-499: Petrology
  • QE500-513: Dynamic and structural geology - General works
  • QE514-516: Geochemistry
  • QE516-520: Dynamic Geology
  • QE521-564: Volcanoes and earthquakes
  • QE565-566: Coral islands and reefs. Atolls
  • QE570: Weathering
  • QE571-597: Sedimentation
  • QE598-600: Earth movements. Mass movements
  • QE601-614: Structural geology
  • QE615-620: Basins. Sedimentary basins
  • QE621-624: Mountain building. Orogeny
  • QE625: Effects of plants, animals, and man in geology
  • QE626-639: Dynamic and structural geology by country or region
  • QE640-699: Stratigraphy
  • QE701-760: Paleontology
  • QE760.8-899.2: Paleozoology


QH Natural History-Biology

  • QH325: Origin and beginnings of life
  • QH326: Exobiology
  • QH343-344: Geobiology and Biogeochemistry (3-4)
  • QH512: Biomineralization


QR: Microbiology

  • 1: QR100.9--Extreme environments (General)
  • 2: QR103--Geomicrobiology. Microbial effect on geological processes


S: Agriculture

  • S590-599.9: Soils, soil sciences (Including soil surveys, soil chemistry, soil structure, soil-plant relationships (3)


TA: Engineering (General) Civil Engineering (General)

  • TA703-712: Engineering geology. Rock mechanics. Soil mechanics.


TC Hydraulic Engineering

  • 1: TC175-176--Hydrodynamics (Water in motion). Open channels and underground flow.


TD: Environmental Technology

  • TD172-193.5: Environmental pollution
  • TD194-196: Environmental effects of industries and plants
  • TD403: Water supply (groundwater)
  • TD419-428: Water pollution
  • TD878-894: Special types of environment (Including soil pollution)
  • 1: TD898.12--Radioactive disposal
  • 1: TD1020-1066--Hazardous substances and their disposal


TL: Aeronautics

  • 2: TL787-4050--Astronautics. Space travel


TN: Mining engineering. Metallurgy

  • 2: TN1-TN999--Mining engineering and Metallurgy
  • TN260: Economic or applied geology and mineralogy
  • TN263-271: Mineral deposits. Metallic ore deposits. Prospecting
  • TN799.5-948: Nonmetallic minerals


TP: Chemical Technology

  • 2: TP315-360--Fuel