Editor's Choice: Web sites

Van Gogh was addicted to absinthe; Imelda Marcos was (maybe still is) addicted to collecting shoes. I'm addicted to the Internet. At least I take comfort in the fact I'm not alone. My co-workers are equally enchanted with wonders of the Web.

More than half our day at Environmental Protection is spent viewing Web sites, researching topics for future articles, exploring environmental issues relevant to our magazine's readers and finding answers to questions both large and small.

What does all this Web surfing give us? Over time, it affects our education, our opinions and our understanding of the world. It also gives us a chance to pass on knowledge to readers of our publication.

Part of that knowledge includes opining the best sites on the Internet for environmental professionals. Here we present prime sites dealing with water, energy, job hunting and search engines. Our criteria for inclusion focused on content, design and usability. Out selections are simply guides to help you avoid the sludge and get to what is important quickly.

If you feel differently about our selections, or have a favorite site not listed that you would like to pass along to us, please e-mail the magazine at epmag@stevenspublishing.com. We look forward to reading your thoughts, and of course, we're always fiending for new sites to feed our addiction. -- Jason Hensel

Online Job Hunting for Environmental Professionals

How green is your parachute? Online resources can help environmental professionals look for employment in a number of ways. According to Richard Nelson Bolles, career guru and author of the classic What Color is Your Parachute?, the Web can help employment seekers search for job listings; post resumes; obtain job-hunting help or career counseling; make contacts with people who can help you find a job; and research fields, occupations, companies and cities.

E Jobs

This free site lists environmental job opportunities in the United States and Canada. It has links to state government agencies, consulting firms, labs, law firms, professional organizations and other entities. The site also helps environmental professionals find jobs through recruiters. In addition, users can access salary surveys, resume resources and other career aids.

Environmental Career Center (ECC)

This free site provides comprehensive environmental and natural resource job listings, career news, employer interviews and career research reports. ECC is in the process of conducting a survey of environmental employers' hiring needs. It's the first survey of its kind and is specifically designed to assist environmental professionals, college students and recent graduates.

Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO)

National Environmental Employment Report (NEER)

These two Web sites list job information for paid subscribers only, but the investment may be well worth the fee. Each site offers a large number of job listings that are updated on a regular basis. NEER lists 500 to 1,000 jobs each month, a career advisor who answers environmental career questions and features articles on job trends and salaries. An individual can subscribe to six months for $35. Equally popular, ECO logs in more than 30,000 unique visitors every two weeks, who can access more than 500 current job vacancies through a password protected Web site.

Other Freebie Favorites

The Riley Guide: Job Listings in Environmental & Water Sciences --
The Global Directory for Environmental Technology --
Federal Job Listings --
Career Path (contains "help wanted" ads from numerous U.S. newspapers) -- www.careerpath.com
JobHuntersBible.com (Sponsored by What Color is Your Parachute? Author Bolles) --

Plug into these sites and you won't blow a fuse

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy's site offers all the clicks you could want to learn about any kind of general energy issue. This is the prime site for a plethora of energy information on your business, future, health, data and prices and much more. A site of kin, the Energy Information Administration, www.eia.doe.gov/ is also a very comprehensive one, providing the official energy statistics from the U.S. government as well as the latest on the restructuring and deregulation of the electric power industry. Both sites paint a very clear picture of resources for the visitor and will intrigue further exploration of charged topics.

Nuclear Energy Institute

The policy organization of nuclear energy and technologies, NEI's objective is to ensure the formation of policies that promote the beneficial uses of nuclear energy and technologies in the United States and around the world. User-friendly and easy on the eyes, this site is on top of the most current nuclear energy issues and research. Fuse through the newsroom, financial center or the library. There is also a helpful glossary of definitions of nuclear terms provided by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and facts about controversial nuclear waste disposal and transportation.

Power Plant News

For all you energetic news junkies, extensive oil, electricity, energy, coal and business news are readily available from this site, where there are options galore. Click any topic to get current news about a specific subject displayed. A long list of related site links to electric companies and even more news information are provided, and you can even browse news around the world by clicking on the continent you are curious about. With a new energy policy, this site may be just what you need to get energized.

Other Favorites

Center for Energy and Environment provides energy, environmental and housing rehabilitation services --
Energy Star of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a government/industry partnership that makes it easy for businesses and consumers to save money and protect the environment --
National Association for State Energy Officials is energy's Washington voice for states and territories about specific energy priorities and concerns --
World Energy News is a site of news on energy politics, business, science and energy and the environment --

Tracking Down Top Search Engines

Are you desperately seeking environmental information and can't seem to find what you need in your stacks of reference books or journals? Relax. Numerous search engines are on call to fetch you information about topics ranging from aboveground storage tanks to zeolite processes. Here are our picks for savvy search engines that will hopefully improve the speed, scope and relevance of your search results.


Time magazine's Internet columnist recently declared that she's "gaga over Google" and we have to agree. This is the Web's largest search engine and covers 1.3 billion indexed pages (approximately two thirds of the Web's available data). Even rival search engine Yahoo! defaults to Google's award-winning search engine when it can't find what browsers are looking for in its directory. In recent months, Google started scouring portable document files (PDFs), which is often the format for academic papers and governmental documents. This should be an added bonus for browsers wanting to access the U.S. EPA's numerous PDF files. In addition, Google provides a directory of Web sites arranged by topic. When appropriate, Web sites from the directory are included in the search results.


Oingo has created next generation search technology that indexes information based on meaning rather than text. Unlike most search engines that just match key words, Oingo links nearly two million words to millions of related meanings. For example, keying in "mixer" into the search engine triggers a dropdown box that asks you to consider all possible meanings for the word, such as kitchenware, social gathering, recording engineer, techno DJ or manufacturing machinery. By searching based on concept, you can improve the precision of your search.

All the Web, All the Time

This site offers the advantage of having the world's largest number of multimedia searches, which include image, video and audio categories. So if you're looking for photos of bioremediation projects, wastewater treatment plants or other such hard-to-find images, this is your site.

Other Favorites
Alta Vista -- www.altavista.com
Mamma -- www.mamma.com
Excite -- www.excite.com
HotBot -- www.hotbot.lycos.com
Netscape -- www.netscape.com
Webcrawler -- www.webcrawler.com

Don't Sink in Cyberspace - Stay Afloat With These Sites

U.S. EPA Office of Water

This office has all the water resources you can drink. Welcoming you with a pull-down list of water topics to choose from, it is easy to navigate through issues, such as watershed, groundwater or drinking water information. Components of the site include links to updated databases and software, laws and regulations, training and a water online reference library. Click on "Water Where You Live" to investigate your local water's condition, revealed with a State Water Quality Fact Sheet, real time data and more. You can also get on a water news listserver through the Information Services link.

U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources of the United States

Surf's up! Catch water data from more then 1.5 million Web sites around the country through the NWIS Web system. Access the wettest technical resources, check out national water conditions or soak in some extensive information about various water programs like the Toxics Substances Hydrology Program and the National Irrigation Water Quality Program. USGS, the Nation's largest earth-science agency providing hydrologic information and appraising the nation's water resources, offers publications and products, such as online fact sheets, reports and abstracts.

Water Quality Association

Dive into WQA - an attractive resource of information, product testing and professional certification for all water users. The site links to the Water Quality Society, WQA's internet-based information service and boasts choice quality products, with their Gold Seal of approval. Reports, statistics, a glossary of terms, convention listings, an e-store and other items of interest are all dripping from this site. A membership information package is available via an e-form on the site.

Other Favorites

The Association of State Drinking Water Agencies is a professional association serving state drinking water programs --
International Water Association's site disseminates information on water management, advocating international meetings, publications, expert networks and electronic media --
American Institute of Hydrology offers certification to professionals in all fields of hydrology, strengthening the standing of hydrology as a science and a profession by establishing standards and procedures to certify individuals --

Environmental News Sites

This article originally appeared in the July 2001 issue of Environmental Protection, Vol. 12, No. 7, p. 14.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2001 issue of Environmental Protection.