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FW 488/489: Capstone Project in Fisheries & Wildlife: Getting Started

This is the capstone course for all Fisheries and Wildlife undergraduates. Over the two quarters, students work in small groups to investigate an issue and produce a white paper based on scientific evidence that recommends management actions

Capstone Project

For this final project of your work as a Fisheries and Wildlife major,  you will find and synthesize information from a wide variety of sources.  Your focus is on the science of your issue.  However, depending on the topic, you will need to be aware of public opinion, political mandates, community perceptions and more.  

To begin, review the information on a topic.  That means exploring sources, finding relevant articles, books and reports, reading them, and then organizing the issues with and approaches to your topic.

Where to start?

Start by talking about your issue with the group and your faculty member mentor. This will help you get an idea of the types of information you are looking for (e.g. peer-reviewed science articles, government reports).  Make lists of ideas, search terms and concepts, people that may lead you to relevant information.

Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, start searching. Begin with general resources such as 1Search, GoogleScholar, Academic Search Premier or Web of Science.  Then move to the resources more focused on fisheries and wildlife issues.  Finally, look at sources that may be more peripheral such as newspapers and the human/environment interface. Useful resources are listed under the Finding Information tab at the top of this page.

Start Broadly - 1Search

Find books, online scholarly articles or newspaper articles that OSU subscribes to.  If you need to find specific items, such as books by a particular author, use the advanced search option for more precise searching. Access 1Search from the library's home page.


Google Scholar

Google Scholar

You do allow embedded content.

A simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.

Find out how to set your preferences in Google Scholar, so you can use OSU Libraries subscriptions to get free access to content that is not free on the web:

How to use Google Scholar (without Paying for the Articles)

Quick Tips

    *  Evaluate your sources. Don't assume everything you find is true, accurate or timely.
    * Keep track of the sources you find so you can document them accurately in your papers.
    * If you don't get results using one approach, try another. Do not assume that nothing exists on the topic.
    * Not everything is in the computer.
    * Ask for help from a librarian if you get stuck or confused.
    * Don't put all of your research off until the last possible moment. It won't be much fun.

Subject Guide

Hannah Rempel's picture
Hannah Rempel
Do you have questions about library sources, finding information, framing research questions, using citation managers? Send me an email and we'll find a time to meet via Zoom or other online tools.