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 the Context

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  Research Question
  Background Info
  Research Methods
  Data Submission
  Results of Study
  Data Analysis
  Further Research
  Research Values


  Doing Research

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Terms* [Terms P-Z]

Acute toxicity- A condition that causes death to a life form during a short term exposure.

Acid discharge- A discharge with a pH less than 7.

Algae- Aquatic one-celled or multicellular plants.

Aquifer- A water-bearing rock or rock formation.

Atmosphere- The gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth and retained by the Earth's gravitational field.

Bacteria- Unicellular microorganisms of the class Schizomycetes existing as free living organisms or parasites.

Benthos- Bottom dwelling or substrate-oriented organisms.

Best available technology- (BAT) The best available technology for treating or removing a pollutant, usually prescribed by a regulatory agency.

Best management practice- (BMP) A practice used to reduce impacts from a particular land use.

Bioaccumulate- The action of concentrating a particular substance over time.

Biomonitoring- The use of organisms to assess or monitor environmental conditions.

Brook- A small stream.

Buffer- A vegetated area of grass, shrubs or trees designed to capture and filter runoff from adjoining land uses.

Channelization- The practice of straightening a water course or stream to remove meanders and make the water flow faster. Sometimes concrete is used to line the sides and bottom of the channel.

Chronic toxicity- A substance that causes harm to a life form over a prolonged exposure and has cumulative effects on growth, respiration or reproduction.

Clustering- The practice of putting buildings close together so as to maximize the amount of open space.

Compost- A mixture of decaying organic matter used as fertilizer.

Concentrate and contain- The practice of concentrating a substance and sealing it such that it cannot
interact with the environment.

Conservation- The controlled and systematic protection of natural resources such that the use of those resources is sustainable over time.

Conservation tillage- The practice of minimizing plowing practices so as to reduce erosion. Contour lines A line on a map that joins points of equal elevation.

Contour plowing- Plowing in a pattern that follows the contours of the land so as to minimize the potential for erosion and runoff.

Decomposition- The separating or decaying of organic or chemical matter.

Deflectors- Structures used to deflect stream flow to a different location, usually away from an eroding bank.

Dendritic- A pattern of stream drainage that resembles the branches of a tree. Detritivors Organisms that break down organic matter such as leaves.

Dilute and disperse- The practice of discharging a substance into a larger body of water that will carry the substance away from its source and reduce its concentration.

Discharge pipe- A pipe used to carry wastewater from a factory or other facility into a receiving stream or lake.

Drainage basin- A large watershed usually referring to the combination of several watersheds.

Duff layer- A spongy layer of decaying leaves, branches and other materials covering the forest floor.

Dump- An unpermitted or illegal collection of debris, trash or other material in the environment.

Ecology- The science of the relationships between organisms and their environments.

Ecosystem- An ecological community together with its physical environment, usually considered as a unit.

Ephemeral Stream- A stream that flows only during wet periods or rainstorms.

Estuary- An arm of the sea that extends inland to meet the mouth of a river, usually characterized by tidal changes and a rich diversity of aquatic life.

Evaporation- The change to a vapor.

Evapotranspiration- The evaporation of water from vegetation though the pores (stomata) of plant tissue.

Feed lots- A confined area where livestock are held for feeding.

Fertilizer- A substance used to increase soil fertility.

Floodplain- A flat area of land adjacent to a stream or river which is formed by floods.

Fresh water- Water that is not saline or brackish.

Fungi- Non-green plants including molds, mushrooms, or rusts usually living on decaying matter.

Grazing- Act of feeding livestock on pasture land.

Groundwater-Water beneath the Earth's surface between saturated soil and rock.

Habitat- The area or environment in which an organism lives.

Headwaters- The uppermost reaches of a river or stream.

Herbicides- Chemicals formulated to kill pesty plants.

Hydric soils- Soils found in saturated, anaerobic environments usually characterized by grey or mottled appearance, found in wetlands.

Hydrologic cycle- The pathways and processes that water uses to move though, over and around the Earth.

Hydropower- Power generated by water.

Instar- The individual insect between two molting events or an organism between egg hatching and the first larval molt.

Intermittent stream- A stream which has an interrupted flow or does not flow continuously.

Irrigation- The practice of supplying dry land with water.

Kick seine- Fine mesh net used to trap aquatic life in flowing waters.

Landfill- (see sanitary landfill)

Larvae- The plural of larva, the first major mobile life stage of an insect or first development following egg hatching.

Leachate- The resultant liquid formed by water percolation through a substance that has materials dissolved or contained in it.

Liner- A plastic or other material placed at the bottom of a landfill to prevent material from leaving the site.

Livestock- Domestic animals such as cattle or horses.

Macroinvertebrate- A spineless animal visible to the naked eye or larger than ().5 millimeters.

Manure- Animal dung or compost used as fertilizer.

Meander- The circuitous winding or sinuosity of a stream, used to refer to a bend in the river.

Minimum instream flow- The minimum flow of water needed to support a particular use such as fish habitat or boating.

Mining- The process of extracting materials, such as coal, from the land. Natural area An area relatively free of human development.

Nonpoint source pollution- Pollution that originates from many diffuse sources and usually is not regulated, such as runoff from streets that carries with it oil, feces and sediment.

People hole- Another name for manhole, an access point to the sewer system usually covered by a metal top.

Perennial stream- A stream that flows continually.

Pesticide- A substance used to destroy pest organisms.

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