TITLE: World Resources Institute

ACCESS: http://www.wri.org/

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank that "goes beyond research to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve peoples lives." WRI is the publisher of the standard reference book World Resources; this and other titles are available in PDF format on the Web site.

The initial page has a 4-column layout, which seems a bit much at first glance. Sticking to the major headings on the left of the page will get the user to the bulk of the information. These choices include "About WRI," "Global Topics," "Earthtrends: the Environmental Information Portal," "Newsroom," "Publications and Multimedia," and "Taking Action." Clicking on a subtopic leads to information about specific projects WRI is involved in, or publications that resulted from the project, and links to contact names related to it. "Publications and Multimedia" lists all recent (2002) publications, with instructions for ordering print copies, or the PDF option for fulltext an excellent feature. "Taking Action" tells what WRI is doing and how we can help. WRI's headquarters, for instance, are comprised of "green" office space with environmentally friendly design, facilities, and technology.

"Earthtrends" includes various categories such as "Coastal and Marine Ecosystems" or "Forests and Grasslands" and each category contains the following options: "Searchable Databases," "Data Tables," "Country Profiles," "Maps," and "Features." Searching the database is a bit complicated; the user must go through several screens and just before the data is displayed, the user is asked to register. This might be less frustrating if it were placed earlier in the process. Also, fewer choices in the menu would make for less clutter and faster decision making on the part of the user but nonetheless, this section provides a wealth of environmental statistics from around the world.

All in all, WRI is an excellent site with vital information for anyone researching the state of the world's environment or social problems.

Lisa K. Miller
Paradise Valley Community College Library

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