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activist - someone who works or fights actively for a cause

adapt - to become adjusted to, as to a new situation or environment

aerobic - living or occurring only in the presence of oxygen

agricultural - the science and work of raising crops and farm animals; farming

algae - organisms that live mainly in the water and which make their own food by converting sunlight into nutrients; algae are different from plants in that they do not have true leaves, roots, or stems.; seaweeds are algae

ammonia - the gas with a strong smell that is formed by combining nitrogen and hydrogen; ammonia is used to make refrigerators cold and in making fertilizers

anaerobic - able to live or act without free oxygen; relating to or caused by a complete lack of oxygen

anaphylaxis -extreme, dangerous sensitivity to a substance, such as bee venom or an allergen

antihistamine - a drug used to treat allergic reactions and colds

asthma - a disease of the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe, often caused by an environmental irritant

atom - the smallest possible unit of a chemical element; the major parts of atoms contain protons, neutrons, and electrons; they are the basis of all matter in the universe

arsenic - a poisonous substance that is one of the chemical elements

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bioenergy - is renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources

bird - <informal> to bird-watch

breed - to give birth to or produce offspring

bronchitis - a swelling and soreness of the bronchial tubes, in the lungs, and which causes severe coughing

by-product - some thing or result that comes from an action intended for some other purpose

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cacao - a South American tree with yellowish flowers and reddish brown seeds; the seed of this tree is used in making chocolate and cocoa

carbon dioxide - a colorless, odorless gas that is produced naturally by breathing, burning, and rotting; one of the main greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere

cell - a tiny unit of plant or animal life, having a nucleus and surrounded by a very thin membrane

camelids - members of the biological family Camelidae, the only living family in the suborder Tylopoda. Camels, dromedaries, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos are in this group

chromosome - a part found in the cells of all plants and animals.; chromosomes contain genes which pass on physical characteristics from parent to offspring

climate change - the change of weather patterns and behavior, closely related to global warming, that is occurring around the world; while there has always been a certain degree of traditional climate change, in recent decades scientists have discovered that climate and weather pattern shifts are happening much faster; most scientists think this accelerated climate change is due in large part to human industrial, manufacturing, and other processes

compost - a mixture of decaying leaves, vegetables, or manure that is used to improve garden soil

conservation - the protection of natural resources, such as soil, water, or forests, from loss, pollution, or waste

continent - one of the earth's major land masses, such as North America, Australia, or Antarctica

coral reef - the hard skeleton of tiny sea animals that are also called corals. Most kinds of coral live in warm tropical oceans, where the skeletons of thousands of corals form reefs and atolls

core - the innermost center; as in the Earth’s core

cosmos - the universe considered as a whole

current - a part of a mass of liquid or air that flows in one direction; the flow of electricity in a wire or other conductor

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decompose - to break down into simpler parts or elements; to decay, rot

deforest - to remove the trees or forests from

dehydrate - to lose water; dry out

desert - a very dry, often sandy area with little or no plant growth; any barren place with little natural life

diesel - relating to a diesel engine, a type of internal-combustion engine, or its fuel

DNA - a substance found in organisms’ cells that contains information about its characteristics; DNA plays a part in the passing on of characteristics from parent to offspring; “DNA” is an abbreviation for “deoxyribonucleic acid”

dreadlocks - also called locks or dreads, are heavy matted coils of hair which form by themselves eventually fusing together to form a single dread

drift - to be carried along by an outside force, as in the movement of the Earth’s continents

dynamic - a basic force

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eco - environment

ecosystem - a community of living things, together with their environment

electrical charge - a small amount of electricity

electron - a very small particle that moves outside the nucleus of an atom. Electrons have a negative charge

encroach - to exceed the proper or intended limits, usually gradually; to intrude or trespass

energy-efficient - requiring a minimal amount of energy to power an appliance, building, or other thing

environment - the things and conditions that are all around one; everything that surrounds a particular type of living thing and affects its growth and health

erosion - wearing away of the earth's surface by wind or water

evapotranspirational - the movement of water from the surface of the Earth to the atmosphere, as by evaporation

evolution - the process of changing and adapting to an environment over time; the theory that describes how all life forms developed from simpler life forms by changes that took millions of years; changes that take place over time and often show an improvement

extinct - no longer existing, as an animal species

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falconer - a person who trains or uses hawks, esp. falcons

farmers’ market - a public market at which farmers sell fresh produce directly to consumers

fertilizer - an organic or inorganic substance added to soil to improve plant production or growth

fission - the splitting of the nucleus of an atom into two or more nuclei; this makes more atoms of lighter elements and gives off large amounts of energy

floriculture - the cultivation of flowers and flowering plants, esp. for sale, as in a commercial greenhouse

food chain - a series of living beings in which each serves as food for the next

fusion - a reaction that combines the nuclei of atoms to form heavier nuclei; a huge amount of energy is released during nuclear fusion

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generalist - an organism that can thrive in many different environmental conditions and can make use of a wide range of food sources and other resources; pigeons are one example of a generalist species, humans are another

geothermal - having to do with the heat produced inside the Earth

germinate - to cause to sprout or grow

global warming - an increase in the world's temperatures, which many scientists believe is caused in part by the greenhouse effect, the warming of the Earth's surface that takes place when heat from the sun is held in by the Earth's atmosphere

green - related to protecting and celebrating the environment

greenhouse gas - one of several gases found in the Earth’s atmosphere and which contributes to climate change; the greenhouse effect can be caused by too much carbon dioxide being released into the air from the burning of fossil fuels.

groundwater - the water beneath the earth's surface that supplies springs and wells

guano - the nitrogen-rich excrement of sea birds or bats, historically used as fertilizer

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habitat - the natural environment of an animal or plant

hibernate - to sleep through the winter in a den or burrow to save energy. Bears, snakes, and certain other animals hibernate

horticulture - the art or science of growing vegetables, flowers, fruits, or ornamental plants

hot spring - a natural spring that, warmed by geothermal energy, has water warmer than body temperature

hybrid - combining the characteristics of two or more things

hydrogen - is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, nonmetallic, tasteless, highly flammable diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2 and is the lightest element

hydroponics - the growing of plants in nutrient solutions rather than in soil

hypoxic - without enough oxygen to sustain life

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interdependent - relying on one another; mutually dependent for survival

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keystone species - a species that has a widespread, critical role in maintaining the balance of an ecosystem and its species

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magma - hot, liquid matter beneath the Earth's surface that cools to form igneous rock. Magma that reaches the Earth's surface, as when a volcano erupts, is called lava

mantle - the layer of the Earth that lies between the crust and the core

meadow - an open field of grass

meltdown - an accident in a nuclear reactor in which the radioactive core melts because of insufficient cooling, leading to the escape of radiation

methane - a gas made of carbon and hydrogen atoms that is stored in and collected from the earth; methane is used for heating and cooking in the form of natural gas

microbe - a life form that can only be seen with a microscope.; many microbes are germs that cause disease

micronized - to break into parts only a few micrometers big

microorganism - any life form so small that it can only be seen with a microscope; microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, and many protozoans

migrant - an animal that travels according to the seasons from one region to another

migrate - to change habitat or location

motility - capability of independent motion

mutation - a sudden, abnormal change in a genetically determined structure

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nectar - the sweet liquid a plant makes that attracts insects and birds; bees use nectar to make honey

neurotoxic - poisonous to the nerves or nervous tissue

nonpoint - originating from multiple, diverse sources

nuclear energy - energy released from the nuclei of atoms, either by splitting or by fusing them

nucleus - the central part of an atom; nuclei have a positive charge

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ocean - the vast body of salt water covering about three quarters of the Earth's surface; any of the major divisions of this body of water (such as the Atlantic Ocean)

ocean desert - areas of the ocean that can no longer sustain life forms; many scientists think that the increase in the number and size of these “dead zones” is due in large part to global warming

oceanographer - someone who studies the oceans and the animals and plants that live in oceans

omnivore - an animal that lives on a diet of both plant and animal food

ovule - a very small plant part that develops into a seed when fertilized

ozone layer - an atmospheric layer between ten and twenty miles above the Earth that contains a large amount of ozone, which absorbs certain types of harmful radiation from space

organic - having to do with or coming from living things

organism - an individual living thing, such as a plant, an animal, or a bacteria

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pesticide - a chemical substance used to kill insects (usually used to kill insects that feed on or otherwise harm plants and crops)

piezoelectric - the ability of some materials (such as certain crystals, ceramics, and bone) to create electricity in response to mechanical stress, such as vibration

pick - fiber picking is the next process following washing where the fiber is "Picked" or "Opened". This is needed to break up dense clumps of fiber and to tease out any entanglement prior to fiber carding

pistil - the portion of a flower where seeds grow; it is the female part of a flower

plankton - a mixture of very small plants and animals floating in fresh or salt water; most kinds of plankton are microscopic; plankton is an important food source for many animals that live in water

plumage - the feathers of a bird

point - coming from a specific point of origin

pollen - the fine, yellow powder made by a flowering plant; when pollen is carried by the wind or by an insect to another plant of the same kind, it fertilizes that plant's seeds

predate- to capture prey for food

precipitate- to change from water vapor and fall to the ground as rain or snow

proton - a tiny particle in the nucleus of an atom; protons have a positive electrical charge

pollinate - to move or carry pollen to a plant in order to fertilize the seeds

pollution - poisons, wastes, or other materials that make something dirty or harmful to health

pyroelectricity - the ability of some materials (such as certain minerals and bone) to create electricity in response to being heated or cooled

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rabies - a disease that is caused by a virus and can kill people, dogs, and other mammals; symptoms of rabies are foaming at the mouth and violent or strange behavior; a person can get rabies if scratched or bitten by an animal that has the disease

radioactive - giving off energy as a result of the decay of unstable atoms; light is one kind of radiation, X-rays are another; some radiation can be dangerous because it affects the development of cells

radiation - the waves of energy sent out by sources of heat or light, or by radioactive material

rain forest - a dense evergreen forest, mostly found in a tropical areas, that receives a large amount of rain all year long

raptor - a bird of prey

reef - a ridge of rock, sand, or coral rising to or near the surface of marine waters

rehabilitate - to restore to good health or to an otherwise improved state of being

renewable energy - energy created from natural resources—such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat—which are naturally replenished

resource strategy - the way an organism uses available sources of food or other resources to survive

rodent - a small mammal with long front teeth used for gnawing.; many kinds of rodents are found all over the world; rodents include rats, mice, hamsters, porcupines, chinchillas, guinea pigs, squirrels, prairie dogs, gophers, woodchucks, and beavers

rovings - long, narrow bundle of fiber

runoff - lanything that drains away, such as excess rainwater that is not absorbed by the earth

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salmonella - a bacterium that produces illness, esp. food poisoning, in humans and other warm-blooded animals

sciuridae - the family of rodents that includes squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, and flying squirrels; they live on every continent in the world except Australia and Antarctica

scrub - a low or stunted shrub or tree, or such plants collectively, or a large area covered with such growth

seed - the small part of a flowering plant that grows into a new plant

sensitize - to make or become sensitive, as to an allergen

sludge - a slushy mass of dirt and sediment (such as industrial or household waste) in a body of water

solar - of, having to do with, or coming from the sun; powered by the sun's energy

solar panel - a device made of materials (semiconductors) that convert sunlight into electricity

species - a group of living beings that can produce young with one another; members of different species cannot produce young with one another

spore - a tiny reproductive body made up of one or more cells, produced by certain animals and plants; ferns and fungi produce spores

stamen - the part of a flower that makes and bears the pollen

stigma - the upper part of a flower’s pistil, the stigma is the part of a plant that receives pollen

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talon - claw of a bird or animal

taxis - the movement of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus

tectonic plates - parts of the Earth's crust that move in relation to one another; these movements can cause continental drift and volcanic eruptions

thicket - a thick patch of shrubs, bushes, or small trees

toxin - a poisonous substance; toxins are often produced as by-products of human industrial or manufacturing processes, but they can also be made by plants or animals, such as the venom of some snakes, and by microorganisms

tropism - the turning or growth of an organism toward or away from an external stimulus such as light, gravity, or food

turbine - an engine driven by a moving fluid, such as water, steam, or air, that pushes against the blades or paddles attached to a central shaft

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ultraviolet - a kind of radiation that has a wavelength shorter than that of the violet end of the spectrum of visible light (so we can’t see it) but longer than that of X-rays

uranium - A heavy, silver-white radioactive metal that is one of the chemical elements; it is used to produce nuclear energy (symbol: U)

urban - of or having to do with a city or town

urban greening - of or having to do with expanding parks, community gardens and other green spaces in a city for the recreational, social and environmental health of a metropolis and its inhabitants

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watershed - the area of land from which water drains into a river, river system, or lake

waterway - a long, large body of water

wetlands - low-lying land saturated with moisture, such as a marsh or swamp

wind turbine - a machine that uses energy from the wind to create mechanical energy that is then converted to electricity

windmill - a machine that uses energy from the wind to turn a large wheel. Windmills are used to grind grain into flour, pump water, and make electricity

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zinc oxide - a whitish powder used as a pigment and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, such as sunblock

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BigGreenTV is very grateful to Wordsmyth, The Premier Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus, for providing the definitions used in this glossary