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living things that are capable of reacting to stimuli, reproduction and growth.


The place where population lives. (trees, forest, field etc..)


meat eating animals that feed on the remains of dead animals (vultures)


any animal that eats plants or eats other plant-eating animals


A biome that has cold long winters and a short growing season. Conifers grow well in this area.


a flowering plant in the pea family. Grown to feed livestock.


is a perennial aquatic plant often called water weeds. Often used in aquariums.


a plant species that grows very small seeds tha can be ground to use as a spice. The plant itself can be eaten as greens as well.


A world wide cultivated grass that is harvested and the seed is ground into flour to make bread. Second largest crop in the world.


a cold, treeless biome of the far North, marked by spongy topsoil.


the source of all energy to our planet.


a relationship between two kinds of organisms over time.

acid rain

moisture that falls to the Earth after being mixed with wastes from burned fossil fuels.


the food making process in green plants that uses sunlight.


the sprouting of a seed into a new plant.


any of the plants and algae that produce oxygen and food that the animals need.


All the living and non-living things in an area and their interactions with each other.


any of the fungi or bacteria that break down dead plant and animals into useful things like minerals and rich soil.


members of a kingdom that contain one celled and many-celled living things that absorb food through their environment. A decomposer- mushrooms are an example.


one of Earth's large ecosystems, whit its climate, soil, plants, and animals.


a single member of a species


all the members of one species in an area.


all the populations living in one area.


the role an organism has in its ecosystem.


a sandy or rocky biome, with little precipitation and little plant life.

food chain

the path of the energy in food from one organism to another.

food web

the overlapping food chains in an ecosystem.

deciduous forest

a forest biome with many kinds of trees that lose their leaves each autumn.

energy pyramid

is the graphical representation of the levels (nutritional) by which the incoming solar energy is transferred into an ecosystem.


active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply

learned behavior

is a behavior that was observed by an individual that they find it to be beneficial to them in some way.

increased nutrients

added to the environment can create algae blooms which can choke out existing organisms in an aquatic ecosystem.


no longer exists. This organism will no longer be found alive on the earth.

tropical rain forest

a hot, humid biome near the equator, with much rainfall and a wide variety of life.


a species threatened with extinction; broadly: anyone or anything whose continued existence is threatened.


having an uncertain chance of continued survival <a threatened species> specifically: likely to become an endangered species


an unnatural substance added to the Earth's land, water or air.


an unnatural substance added to the Earth's land, water or air.


a biome where grasses, not trees, are the main plant life. Prairies are one kind of grassland region.


Used to determine the measure of its ph which tells the level of acidic, neutral or basic of a substance.


a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason

water vapor

Water in a gaseous state diffused in the atmosphere but below boiling temperature.

water cycle

The cycle in which Earth's water moves through the environment.


The process by which a gas changed back into a liquid.


The process by which a liquid turns into a gas.


A visible collection of tiny water droplets or, at colder temperatures, ice crystals floating in the air above the surface.


Thin wispy clouds that form high in the atmosphere as their water vapor freezes into ice crystals. They do not produce precipitation.


Fluffy, mid-level clouds that develop in towering shapes and signal fair weather.


Low-lying, gray and sheet like clouds that often produce drizzle.


The layer of air that surrounds the Earth.


To predict (the weather).

air pressure

The weight of air.


The amount of water vapor present in a unit of volume of air. A hydroscope indicates the amount of humidity in the air

local winds

The winds dependent on local changes in temperature.

prevailing winds

The global winds that blow constantly from the same direction.


A scientist who studies and predicts the weather. Meteorologists use sophisticated equipment, like Doppler radar and supercomputers, but they also rely on old-fashioned sky watching.


General name for water in any form falling from clouds. This includes rain, drizzle, hail, snow and sleet. Although, dew, frost and fog are not considered to be precipitation.

solar energy

The energy of the sunlight


The movement of air relative to the surface of the earth. It's considered to be severe if 58 m.p.h. or greater. Hurricane winds are 74 m.p.h or greater and the highest tornado winds are about 318 m.p.h.


A cloud on the ground that reduces visibility.


The measurement of how hot or cold something is. Thermometer - the instrument that measures temperature.

El Nino

A short term climate change that occurs every two to ten years.

global warming

The hypothesized rise in Earth's average temperature from excess carbon dioxide.


Process by which the Earth's atmosphere absorbs heat.


It describes the condition of the air at a particular time and place. Weather also tells how the air moves (wind) and describes anything it might be carrying such as rain, snow or clouds. Thunder, lightning, rainbows, haze and other special events are all part of weather.


They are intense storms with swirling winds up to 150 miles per hour. Usually around 300 miles across, hurricanes are 1,000-5,000 times larger than tornadoes. Hurricanes are known by different names around the world. In Japan they are Typhoons, while Australians call them Willy-Willys.


The state of matter that has a definite shape and volume - ice

States of matter

solid, liquid and gas


The state of matter that has volume but takes the shape of the container - water


the state of matter that does not have a definite shape or volume - steam


The average of all weather conditions through all season over a period of time. It describes the average weather conditions in a certain place or during a certain season. Weather may change from day to day, but climate changes only over hundreds or thousands of years. Many animals and plants need one kind of climate to survive. Dolphins and palm trees can live only in a warm climate, while polar bears and spruce trees need a cold climate.


Water that forms on objects close to the ground when its temperature falls below the dew point of the surface air.


It begins as a funnel cloud with spinning columns of air that drop down from a severe thunderstorm. When they reach the ground they become tornadoes. Tornadoes are between 300 and 2,000 feet wide and travel at speeds of 20 to 45 miles per hour. They usually only last a few minutes, but their spinning winds, up to 300 miles per hour, can lift houses into the air and rip trees from the ground.


is a shape or feature of the earth's surface, like a delta or canyon.


wears away earth materials by water, wind, or ice. Plants and trees along the river bank help protect the bank from erosion.


used to describe the measurement of the steepness, incline, gradient, or grade of a straight line. A higher slope value indicates a steeper incline.


causes water to flow from higher places to lower places on the earth and in the stream table models.

wind erosion

Sand grains knocking the paint off of beach houses, and a farmers rich topsoil being blow away are two good examples of what this kind of erosion can do.

ice erosion

Water freezing and expanding (Ice) breaks rocks into soil.


a low area between hills and mountains, where a stream often flows.


a land mass that projects well above its surroundings; higher than a hill.


is the process by which eroded materials settle out in another place.


A fan shaped deposit of earth materials at the mouth of a stream. They are created by deposition. When a fast moving narrow river flows into a large body of water like a lake or ocean you would expect the water to slow and a delta to form.


The process of breaking rock into soil, sand, and other tiny pieces.

mass movement

The downhill movement of rock and soil because of gravity.

meandering stream

A curve or loop in a river or stream. This is a stream where erosion on one bank and deposits on the other bank make big curves in the riverbed.


are designed to hold back water so that the river will not flood its banks. They provide places for people to boat swim and fish in the lake behind that dam that is created. In some cases a dam can provide electricity for a town.


The thin, outer layer of Earth.


The layer of rock beneath Earth's crust.


The center of the earth.

contour interval map

The vertical distance between contour lines is the contour interval. These contours indicate the elevation of each level.


of a stream; flowing into a larger stream. A branch that flows into the main stream.


a V-shaped gorge with steep sides eroded by a stream. Canyons are created by erosion

Stream bed

The substrate of the stream channel between the ordinary high water marks. The substrate may be bedrock or inorganic particles that range in size

Fault .

a break or place where pieces of Earth's crust move


The rigid blocks of crust and upper mantle block.


A hot, soft rock from Earth's lower mantle.


A mountain formed by lava and ash.

Continental Drift

A theory of how Earth's continents move over it's surface.


The remains or traces of past life found in sedimentary rock.


A super continent containing all of Earth's land and existed about 225 million years ago.

natural spring

A place where groundwater flows to the surface and issues freely from the ground.

elevation map

A map that indicates the elevation - using birds eye view and contour lines.

Topographic Maps

two dimensional representations of three dimensional surfaces directly overhead.


an isolated, broad, flat-topped hill having at least one steep cliff.

alluvial fan

a fan-shaped deposit of earth materials formed where a stream flows from a steep slop onto flatter land.

sand dunes

A hill or ridge of wind-blown sand.


are eroded earth materials that have been deposited.


An accumulation of boulders, stones, or other debris carried and deposited by a glacier.

topographic maps

two dimensional representations of three dimensional surfaces directly overhead.


a steep to vertical descent of a stream channel.


is the course of path the water takes in a stream or river.


is a low area in which sediments are often deposited.


an embankment along a stream that protects land from flooding. Levees can be natural or constructed.


where a stream enters another body of water.


an isolated elevation in the land, usually no more than 30 m from base to peak.

flood plain

land that gets covered with water during a flood.


A force that resists movement between two objects that are touching.


A force of attraction between any two masses. The strength of this force is dependent on the mass of each object and their distance from one another.


The tendency of a moving object to stay in motion or a resting object to stay still is inertia.


A push or a pull. A force is also needed to make a moving object slow down, change direction or stop moving.

Potential Energy

Stored energy that can be released to become other forms of energy.

Kinetic Energy

energy associated with motion


is only done when a force makes something move. ????= Force X distance. Is measured in Joules.

Perpetual Motion

refers to movement that goes on forever.


How far something moves.


A measure of how fast something is moving. How far an object can go in a certain amount of time.


Ability to do work.

unbalanced forces

initiate and influence movement.

balanced forces

When an object is at rest it is balanced.


The rate of acceleration. Momentum = Mass x Velocity


is a vector quantity which is defined as the rate at which an object changes its velocity. An object is accelerating if it is changing its velocity.

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