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© Christine Witte - not to be copied or reused in its entirety or in parts without a legal license agreement. AROMATICS: A type of hydrocarbon, such as benzene or toluene, with a specific type of ring structure. Aromatics are sometimes added to gasoline in order to increase octane. Some aromatics are toxic.
BLOOM: proliferation of algae and/or higher aquatic plants in a body of water; often related to pollution, especially when pollutants accelerate growth.
CUTIE PIE: instrument used to measure radiation levels.
DESERTIFICATION: a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife.
ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT: a measure of human demand on the earth's ecosystems, representing the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste.
FOOD CHAIN: A sequence of organisms, each of which uses the next, lower member of the sequence as a food source.
GREEN ROOF: a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium.
HERBIVORE: An animal that feeds on plants.
ICE AGE: a period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the earthâ€™s surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers.
JAR TEST: Laboratory procedure that simulates a water treatment plant's coagulation/flocculation units with differing chemical doses, mix speeds, and settling times to estimate the minimum or ideal coagulant dose required to achieve certain water quality goals.
KEY STONE SPECIES: a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance.
LIMESTONE: is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).
MONITORING: Periodic or continuous surveillance or testing to determine the level of compliance with statutory requirements and/or pollutant levels in various media or in humans, plants, and animals.
NETTING: A concept in which all emissions sources in the same area that owned or controlled by a single company are treated as one large source.
OLD GROWTH FOREST: forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community.
PEAK OIL: the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline.
QUACK: a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess.
RAINBOW REPORT: Comprehensive document giving the status of all pesticides now or ever in registration or special reviews. Known as the "rainbow report" because chapters are printed on different colors of paper.
SPRING: Ground water seeping out of the earth where the water table intersects the ground surface.
TAIL WATER: The runoff of irrigation water from the lower end of an irrigated field.
URBAN HEAT ISLAND: a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities.
VEGETATIVE: of or relating to vegetation or plant life.
WIND ENERGY: conversion of wind into a useful form of energy.
X-RAY: form of electromagnetic radiation.
YELLOWCAKE: uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores.
ZERO WASTE: is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.