The sequence of changes in a plant community over time.
The horizontal layer(s) into which many soils are organized.
Process in which rock is broken down into smaller and smaller pieces.
Urban Heat Sink
Local heat buildup in an area with low population.
Process in which global temperatures rise due to a variety of factors, resulting in environmental conflict.
A biome with a Mediterranean climate.
Species at risk for extinction.
Species at risk for endangerment.
Habitat created for the rehabilitation of threatened and endangered species.
The process of returning a degraded environment as close as possible to its former, undisturbed state.
An urban area of abandoned: vacant factories, warehouses, and residential sites that may be contaminated.
The increasing concentration of a substance in the tissues of an organism at higher levels of the food chain.
A method employed to clean up a hazardous waste site that uses micro-organisms to break down toxic pollutants.
Species that initially colonized a particular area.
A region of coniferous forest in the Northern Hemisphere.
The shift in the mid-1700's from rural life to urban.
Resources that can meet the needs of the present without compensating future needs.
The collective name for a series of hypotheses that Earth's organisms adjust the environment to keep it habitable for life.
British economist that pointed out that population growth isn't always desirable.
The concern of environmental quality.
Wrote about interrelationships among living organisms, including humans, and the natural environment.
A dominant philosophical and theoretical framework within a scientific discipline.
Hypothesis stating that an organism obtains nourishment through the oxidation of inorganic chemicals.
International negotiations that resulted in a timetable to phase out CFC production.
An international treaty that stipulates that highly developed countries must cut their emissions of CO2 and other gases that cause climate warming by an averaged 5.2% by 2012.
Clean Air Act
Took place in 1970 to set stricter standards for air quality; Revised in 1990.
One of many perspectives based on a collection of our basic values.
An ethicist who maintains that do and should vary with social context.
An ethicist who maintains that there exist objective notions of right and wrong that hold across cultures and situations.
A human-centered view of our relationship with the environment.
A philosophy that considers actions in terms of their damage or benefit to the integrity of whole ecological systems.
Movement that called on people to view objects in the world as small versions of the whole universe, and to trust their individual institutions.
The reduction in competition for environmental resources that occurs among coexisting species as a result of each species' niche differing from the others in one or more ways.
The totality of an organism's adaptations, its use of resources, and the lifestyle to which it's fitted.
Organisms that feed on dead matter; Aids in decomposition process.
A relationship between members of different species in which one organism is harmed and the other is unaffected.
A relationship between members of different species in which one organism benefits and the other is unaffected.
A relationship in which all participating organisms benefit from their interaction.
The condition of extremely low dissolved oxygen concentrations in a body of water.
Sewage that is generated in one country, but able to cause harm in another.
Idea that life evolved from a primordial soup of simple inorganic chemicals.
Modification to heterotrophic hypothesis in which early chemical reactions had help from outer space.
Natural selection conducted under human direction.
OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conservation)
The generation of electricity from ocean temperature gradients.
A type of dispersal in which individuals enter a population and thus increase its size.
A type of dispersal in which individuals leave a population and thus decrease its size.
Type I Survivorship
Survivorship curve in which probability of death is greater later in life.
Type II Survivorship
Survivorship curve in which probability of survival does not change with age.
Type III Survivorship
Survivorship curve in which probability of death is greater earlier in life.
Any of various proteins originating from living cells and capable of producing certain chemical changes through catalytic action.
Potential for growth of a population under certain conditions.
Model that shows the mathematical relationship between environmental impacts and the forces that drive them. (Number of people, affluence per person, environmental effects of technologies, etc).
A tree-like diagram that represents the history of divergence of species or other taxonomic groups of organisms.
Describes changes in population genetics in which extreme values for a trait are favored over intermediate values.
A particular mode of natural selection when it favors a single phenotype over others.
K-T Mass Extinction
A large-scale mass extinction of animal and plant species in a geologically short period of time that occurred about 65.5 million years ago.
Age Structure Diagram
Diagram representing the number and proportion of people at each age in a population.
Meaning that it affects population as population changes.
A species that is crucial in determining the nature and structure of the entire ecosystem in which it lives.
Species selected for making conservation-related decisions.
Negative Feedback Loop
A situation in which a change in some condition triggers a response that counteracts, or reverses, the changed condition.
Positive Feedback Loop
A situation in which a change in some condition triggers a response that intensifies the condition.
All of Earth's organisms and their interactions with each other, the land, the water, and the atmosphere.
The circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil.
The biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of phosphorus through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere
•Sequence of transformations whereby carbon dioxide is converted to organic forms by photosynthesis or chemosynthesis, recycled through the biosphere (with partial incorporation into sediments), and ultimately returned to its original state through respiration or combustion.
Energy that remains in an ecosystem after cellular respiration has occurred.
First Law of Thermodynamics
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, although it can change from one form to another.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
When energy is converted from one form to another, some of it is degraded into heat, a less-usable form that disperses into the environment.
A land area that delivers water into a stream or river system.
Earth's supply of water. (All forms).
The soil and rock of Earth's crust.
The malleable layer of rock that lies beneath Earth's crust and surrounds a mostly iron core.
The lightweight outer layer of the Earth, consisting of rock that floats atop the malleable mantle, which in turn surrounds a mostly iron core.
The smallest inorganic soil particles.
Black or dark brown decomposed organic material.
Medium-sized inorganic soil particles.
Inorganic soil particles that are larger than silt or clay.
Scottish immigrant to the United States who eventually settled in California. Most strongly associated with the "preservation ethic."
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. International agreement that resulted from the 3rd Law of the Sea Convention which occurred from 1973 to 1982.
Adverse effects that occur within a short period after exposure to the accident.
Adverse effects that occur after a long period of exposure to a toxicant.
The amount of toxicant it takes to kill 50% of a population of test animals.
Species that typically have a small body size, rapid development, short life span, and devotes a large proportion of its metabolic energy to the production of offspring.
Species that typically have a large body size, slow development, long life span, and does not devote a large proportion of its metabolic energy to the production of offspring.
Transitional zones where ecosystems meet.
Area where plate tectonics collide
Area where plate tectonics are divided and pushed apart.
Area where two tectonic plates meet and slip and grind alongside one another.
A rigid layer of the earth's crust that is believed to drift slowly.
An international agreement on biosafety that regulated the trade of genetically engineered products.
The primary international system for facilitating the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world.
A loss of more than 10% of a land's productivity due to erosion, soil compactation, forest removal, overgrazing, drought, salinization, climate change, etc.
Planting different types of crops in alternating bands or other spatially mixed organisms.
A scientific field that views cities explicitly as ecosystems.
Of, relating to, or living on the bottom of a body of water.
Of, relating to, or living along shorelines between the highest reach of the highest tide, and the lowest reach of the lowest tide.
A soil conservation method that involves building dikes on hilly terrain to produce level, terraced areas for agriculture.
The rearing of aquatic organisms, either freshwater or marine, for human consumption.
A chemical that interferes with the actions of the endocrine system.
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane; a chlorine-containing organic compount that has insecticidal properties.
The deepest zone of a large lake.
The open-water area away from the shore of a lake or a pond that extends as far as the sunlight penetrates.
A type of intercropping in which several kinds of plants that mature at different times are planted together.
Tillage types that leave 15-30 percent residue cover after planting.
Of, pertaining to, or containing a gene or genes transferred from another species.
Genetically Modified Organism; An organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Integrated Pest Management
An agricultural pest control strategy that utilizes a variety of complementary strategies among others. (I.e. Cultural Management, Chemical Management, etc).
A triazine herbicide that inhibits photosynthesis.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act; U.S. federal law that set up the basic U.S. system of pesticide regulation to protect applicators, consumers, and the environment.
Biodiversity Hot Spots
Areas that support an especially great diversity of species, particularly those that are endemic to the area.
An updated list of species facing unusually high risks of extinction.
Areas of the ocean designated as "no-fishing" zones, allowing no extractive activities.
Any obstruction placed in a river or stream to block the flow of water so that the water can be stores in a reservoir.
A rising ocean current that transports colder, nutrient-laden water to the surface.
The submerged, relatively flat ocean bottoms that surround continents.
Reserves of ice-encrusted natural gas located in porous rock in the arctic tundra.
Unwanted fish, dolphins, and sea-turtles that are caught along with commercially valuable fishes and then dumped, dead or dying, back into the ocean.
Polychlorinated biphenyls; Chlorine-containing organic compounds that enjoyed a wide variety of industrial uses until their dangerous properties were recognized.
O3; A blue gas with a distinctive odor. Human-made pollutant in the troposphere; Important for stratosphere.
Carbon Monoxide; Poisonous and reduces the blood's ability to transport oxygen.
Carbon Dioxide; Greenhouse gas; Buildup associated with global warming.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species; Aimed to ensure that trade of specimens did not threaten their survival.
No Fly Zones
Territories in which aircraft is not permitted to fly.
A natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels.
A natural or artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels.
Chlorofluorocarbon; Chemical compound that depletes ozone.
Large group of flagellate protists; Contributes to red tide through forming toxic blooms.
Diesel fuel produced by mixing vegetable oil, used cooking grease, or animal fat with small amounts of ethanol or methanol in the presence of a chemical catalyst.
Any water that is used in households, businesses, industries, or public facilities, and is drained or flushed down pipes. (I.e. run-off).
The cumulative amount of land and water required to provide the raw materials a person or population consumes and to dispose of or recycle the waste that is produced.
Waste-water generated from domestic activities. (i.e. laundry, dishwashing, bathing).
British Thermal Unit; Unit of amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree fahrenheit at one atmospheric pressure.
Volatile Organic Compound; Organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures under normal conditions to vaporize and enter Earth's atmosphere.
Landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation.
A small rock that contains manganese and other minerals. Common on the ocean floor.
The natural heat within the Earth that arises from ancient heat within Earth's core.
Wafers or thin-filmed devices that generate electricity when solar energy is absorbed.
Energy conducted by using the sun's energy without requiring mechanical devices to distribute collected heat.
A liquid or gaseous fuel synthesized from coal, (or other naturally occurring sources), and used in place of oil or natural gas.
A black combustible solid found in Earth's crust.
A mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons that occur in Earth's crust.
Combustible deposits in Earth's crust.
Single Large or Several Small dilemma; The debate over whether it is better to make reserves larger in size and few in number, or many in number but small in size.
A wastewater disposal method, common in rural areas, consisting of an underground tank and series of drain pipes.
The removal of salt from ocean or brackish, (somewhat salty), water.
A groundwater storage area trapped between two impermeable layers of rock.
A massive groundwater deposit under either mid-western states.
The area bordering a river that is subject to flooding.
Treating wastewater by removing suspended and flooding particles (such as sand and silt) by mechanical processes.
Treating wastewater biologically; By using microorganisms to decompose the suspended organic material; Occurs after primary treatment.
Lands that are transitional between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and are covered with water for part of a year.
Man-made wetland, marsh, or swamp created as a new or restored habitat for native and migratory wildlife for water discharge. (Used for reclamation purposes).
Artificial Coral Reefs
Man-made structures made from calcium carbonate that act as "rainforests of the sea," housing diverse aquatic ecosystems.
Residual, semi-solid material left from industrial wastewater, or sewage-tratment processes.
Diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms which are directly transmitted when contaminated fresh water is consumed.
Not In My Back Yard; Describes residential opposition to a proposal for a new development close to them.
Effluent from wastewater treatment plants that deeal with sewage from homes, businesses, and excess water after storms.
The art or technique of trying to control rivers with dams to try and minimize the occurence of floods.
Processes used to make water more acceptable for a desired end-use.
3 Indicators of Water Quality
May include: Dissolved Oxygen, Water Temperature, pH Levels, Nitrates, or even Transparency.
Three Gorge Dam in China
The world's largest hydroelectric power station; Increases shipping while reducing potential for flooding.
Arsenic in Bangledesh
Poisoning of resources in Bangledesh from arsenic intensifying malnutrition, poverty and destitution among the villagers.
Traditional agricultural methods that are dependent on labor and a large amount of land to produce enough food to feed oneself and one's family, with little left over to sell or reserve for hard times. (Uses humans and draft animals as main source of energy).
A complex mixture of pastures, farm fields, businesses, home sites, natural habitats and cities and towns.
A deviation from the normal temperature distribution in the atmosphere, resulting in a layer of cold air temporarily trapped near the ground by a warmer, upper layer.
Clean Air Act of 1990
A piece of United States environmental policy relating to the reduction of smog and air pollution. Revision of the Clean Air Act of 1970.
Global Distillation Effect
The process whereby volatile chemicals evaporate from land far away as the tropics and are carried by air currents to higher latitudes, where they condense and fall to the ground.
3 Examples of Particulate Matter
Can include: Soil particles, soot, lead, asbestos, sea salt, and sulfuric acid droplets.
3 Examples of Volatile Organic Compounds
Can include: Acetone, Benzene, Ethylene glycol, Formaldehyde, Methylene chloride, Perchloroethylene, Toluene, Xylene, and 1,3-butadiene.
Climate Change Benefits/Costs
Advantages: Prevention of next ice age, less need for energy consumption to warm facilities, fewer deaths or injuries due to cold weather, etc.
Disadvantages: Desertification, agricultural disruption, melting of ice caps, rise in sea levels, etc.
Tiny particles of natural and human-produced air pollution that are so small they remain suspended in the atmosphere for days or even weeks.
Second Green Revolution
A change in agricultural production widely thought necessary to feed and sustain the growing population on Earth.