Princeton University Library’s geosciences expertise and collection supports Library patrons researching worldwide natural hazards

It has been an unprecedented year of natural hazards and disasters - notable even for the scientists who investigate and track the activity. Beginning Wednesday afternoon, September 1, and the days that followed, the internal message board at Princeton University Library (PUL) lit up with queries and messages from Library staff concerned about Tropical Storm Ida’s impact on the local area and each other’s safety.

Route 1 in Lawrence is under water at the I-295 interchange early Thursday morning, Sept. 2, 2021 after devastating levels of rain fell in the state overnight from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

Photo credit: Michael Mancuso, NJ Advance Media for

Throughout this entire period, Emily Wild, Chemistry, Geosciences, and Environmental Studies Librarian, answered questions from concerned staff and provided links to a variety of information sources to help keep colleagues informed and safe. Digging into the data is something Wild is intimately familiar with—before she joined PUL, Wild spent 23 years as a hydrologist and librarian (physical scientist) at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Following Ida, Wild immediately set up a workshop for interested faculty, staff, and students, so she could share PUL’s resources to research hurricanes and floods. Several more workshops were planned. Word spread and members of the Princeton community began joining these sessions too, curious and excited to have access to the wealth of knowledge provided by Wild and PUL. 

These Friday workshops on hurricanes and floods are available through the beginning of December. During these workshops, Wild shares a plethora of sources for researching natural hazards and customizing each session by focusing on attendees’ questions and interests. Wild plans for the next series of workshops to cover droughts and wildfires. 

Upcoming geosciences events:

Conference: Geoscience Information Society Pre-Conference Workshop: Geoscience Librarianship 101, Oct. 18-19 (Wild serves as President of the society through fall 2021 and has been teaching this course since 2013.)
Conference: Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) Conference, October 21-22 

Virtual workshop: Library Research for Natural Hazards: Hurricanes and Floods, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.

To stay up-to-date on geosciences information, please join the Geoscience Information Society’s GEONET listserv via Princeton. View webinar schedule and recordings here and check out the Geosciences Libguide. For more information, contact Emily Wild, Chemistry, Geosciences, and Environmental Studies Librarian, at

Published on October 14, 2021.