CBBG Research Experience for Undergraduates, Summer 2018

by Jennifer Harbster – August 10, 2021

This guide is created to support the Center for Bio-inspired & Bio-mediated Geotechnics Research Experience for Undergraduates (CBBG REU). During the summer of 2018  REU students will be conducting research at UC Davis, ASU, New Mexico State University, and Georgia Tech. UC Davis Library will be your primary library for research support. However, each campus can also provide assistance with using local resources. See the section- Meet Your Summer Librarians.

The UC Davis Library provides a wealth of resources that can help REU students identify articles, proceedings, reports, standards, and books in a print or electronic format. The following guide will point to a selection of specialized and related resources in the civil and environmental engineering fields that are available to you through the CBBG REU program and UC Davis Library. Questions? Research Help? Ask Me, Jennifer “JJ” Harbster.

Jennifer "JJ" Harbster

Research Support Services
Subject Specialist Librarian



In this Guide:

Professors, principle investigators (PI) and graduate students assigned to your projects are excellent sources for research help. Librarians are also available for research support.

UC Davis and main CBBG REU librarian contact: Jennifer “JJ” Harbster 

  • Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Library & Shield’s Library
  • Available for Office Hours
  • Help with research strategies
  • Assist with citing references
  • Assist with obtaining difficult to locate references or material not available at UC Davis
  • Troubleshoot connection issues with UC Davis Library VPN
  • Provide local help with checking out books
  • And much more…..just ask

ASU  librarian contact: Samuel Dyal,

Georgia Tech librarian contact:  Lisha Li 

New Mexico State University

  • Branson and Zuhl Library
  • Branson Library (3rd/4th floors) has the majority of engineering/science books, but more limited hours
  • Questions about local NMSU library resources can be asked at the Info Desks in Branson or Zuhl. Also see the Ask Us page.

Your home institution’s library is another great source for research support during the summer and throughout the year.

Students at Lafayette College can  benefit from using the Lafayette College Library  Click here to contact a Lafayette Librarian.

In order to access online subscription resources such as databases, ebooks, ejournals, and full-text articles remotely (from offsite) you will need to download the UC Davis Library VPN Pulse Secure. Your Kerabros ID/PW is your UCD LoginID.

The Connect from Off Campus page provides step by step instructions on how to to this. You will need to pick your operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac OX) and open up the instructions specific to that system. Instructional videos are also on this page to help you set up the VPN Pulse Secure. Please follow the directions carefully, there are multiple steps involved.

After you successfully loaded the VPN, you will need to connect to the Pulse Secure when you want to search the subscription databases or access the ebooks, ejournals, articles, etc.

Should you have problems setting up the VPN or connecting contact Jennifer “JJ” Harbster jjharbster@ucdavis



To access the subscription research databases you must be authenticated.  ASU, GTI, and NMSU students must install the UCD Library VPN Pulse Secure (see VPN section above) to access UC Davis Library resources remotely. UC Davis students working on campus using the campus Wifi (eduroam) do not need the VPN, but will need it if they are off campus. Once you have installed the VPN Pulse Secure connect with each library research session. Once the Pulse Secure is connected, you can access the subscription databases listed.

UCD-eLinksNote: Some of these databases do not contain the digital copies (i.e. full text/ online access) of the articles or books, to find the digital copies use the UCD E links button.

Email Jennifer “JJ” Harbster jjharbster@ucdavis.edu should you have problems accessing the material or would like database recommendations.

List of Key Civil and Environmental Databases

  • Compendex (Engineering Village)  is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of engineering research literature, it covers all aspects of engineering.  To access the articles, papers, etc use the UCD elinks button in the record.
  • Web of Science is a large multidisciplinary that will help you find scholarly papers in all disciplines, including civil and environmental engineering. This database can also be used to identify articles that cite an specific author or article that you specify. To access the articles, papers, etc use the UCD elinks button in the record.
  • Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Digital Library provides full access to papers, articles, and ebooks in civil engineering and related disciplines.
  • ASCE Civil Engineering Database is the source to find ASCE published articles/papers- to access the material click on the title and then use the download link once you open up the record.
  • Environmental Engineering Abstracts covers the world literature pertaining to technological and engineering aspects of air and water quality, environmental safety, and energy production. To access the articles, papers, etc use the UCD elinks button in the record.

You can find more civil and engineering library resources on the Civil and Environmental Subject Guide.  

If you are seeking information related to the life sciences or other environmental databases see the section on Subject Guides for recommended databases and other research resources.

You can also use the library’s public terminals at UC Davis, ASU, NMSU, and GTI to access library resources .


The following selection of guides cover subjects other than engineering that might be related to your research. Use these guides to identify key databases or other online resources that can be helpful with your research.


Biological Sciences

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Plant Sciences

Environmental Toxicology


You can find a master list of all UC Davis Library subject guides here

Rows of books at UCD Shield’s Library

Using the VPN Pulse Secure, you can access eBooks. One way to find eBooks is to use the UC Davis Library Catalog. Remember that when searching the Library Catalog, you are searching for word occurrences or names in the record (title, subjects, notes, etc.) not the full text of the book.

Alternatively, you can use search inside eBooks using Google Books. Google Books searches full-text of books (only titles that Google has scanned), but you cannot access most of them (because they are still under copyright).

Google Books is a helpful resource to identify titles you might be interested in.
–Use Google Books to search for phrases or topics you are intereted in (works well for technical terms).
–Then search for the title of the book(s) in the UCD Library Catalog 

Students on the UC Davis Campus can check out 10 concurrent books at the UC Davis Libraries, however there is no interlibrary loans or recall privileges. To borrow books from UC Davis Library bring a photo ID to the Shield’s Library Circulation Desk, located on the first floor, near the entrance, right side. Make sure to tell the circulation desk staff that you are part of REU CBBG- they will give you an application to fill out for registation.

For REU students on other campuses, you can visit the campus library and use the books in-house.



There are free online tools (software) that can help manage your research and citations. Like all software, there is a learning curve, but it is worth the time and investment.

Zotero is a free tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research. Make sure to Add-on Zotero to your Word Doc so you can cite as you work. Also of note, ASCE is an option for a citation style. 

If you need to create a simple quick bibliography– see ZoteroBib

Mendeley is “is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.” Mendeley also provides an ASCE citation style option.

Not sure which tool to pick? Talk to your department since some disciplines tend to prefer one tool over another.

Also see Wikipedia article: Comparison of reference management software

Endnote is another popular research manager tool, however, it is a licensed product and requires a subscription. Inquire with your institution about access.