By Eric Tans, Environmental Sciences Librarian, MSU Library

For those of you that do not know me, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. As the Environmental Sciences Librarian, my job is to support and assist students, faculty, and staff with teaching and research across all environmental disciplines, including water! But what does that actually mean, and how can I help you? I can share some examples to illustrate my role on campus.

Last fall, members of Dr. Bob Montgomery’s RECaP lab approached me about collaborating on a paper. They were interested in tracking publishing trends on articles related to human and lion interactions worldwide. We worked together to target the most appropriate databases and terms for searching, and after conducting some sample searches we were ready to proceed. I carried out the searches, downloaded the citations, and accumulated and organized PDFs of every article in the search results. I shared all of this with the research team so they were able to focus on analyzing the article content rather than spending time and energy running searches and organizing the results. My final contribution to the paper was to write portions of the methods and results sections, describing how I conducted the search along with an analysis of the results. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to this research project, and I would be happy to provide assistance to other projects related to environmental science and water research as appropriate.

I also assist with teaching, primarily by delivering presentations to students on finding and using library resources. These sessions can happen in the library or in the classroom, but they work best when delivered in tandem with a research based assignment that can provide a framework for the session. I can customize my presentation to match your course content and I often develop an online research guide that compiles all the relevant library research tools in one convenient location. I’ve delivered library instruction to courses across disciplines and departments, including Fisheries and Wildlife, Sociology, Geography, Engineering, Lyman Briggs, and James Madison.

Eric Tans photoMy role on campus is to support student learning and research related to environmental science and water at MSU. I encourage anyone interested research collaborations, library instruction, or searching assistance to contact me at