Glossary of Scientific Terms
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acidic—tending to form an acid, having a pH of less than 7

algae—photosynthetic microorganisms which are mainly aquatic and differ from plants because of a lack of true stems, roots, and leaves

alkaline—having a pH of greater than 7

alter(ed)—to make different

angler(s)—fisherman

arsenate—a salt of arsenic acid

arsenic—a highly poisonous metallic element

aquatic—having to do with water

au revoir—French for “good-bye”

bacteria—unicellular microorganisms that are members of Domain Bacteria

bicarbonate—a chemical that is a variety of carbonic acid salt; some bicarbonates are used as antacids

bio-indicator(s)—a living creature whose presence indicates the existence of certain environmental conditions

chloride—a compound containing chlorine

condensate—a product of condensation. Condensation is when a gas or vapor is reduced to a liquid or solid form.

continental divide—a divide separating river systems that flow to opposite sides of a continent.

coolant—something that reduces a system’s temperature while the system is operating by conducting away the heat produced

counterpart—a person or thing that closely resembles another

decomposer(s)—something that breaks down or decays something

degrade(d)—to lower the quality of something

density—the number of individual organisms that are present in an area

deplete(d)—to exhaust the supply of something

diatom(s)—single-celled algae, whose shells are made of silica

dovetail—to fit or coincide with

ecologist—someone who studies the relationships between organisms and their environments

element—a substance whose atoms have a identical number of protons in each nucleus

EPT—abbreviation for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, insect groups affected by many kinds of water pollution

Ephemeroptera—scientific name of mayflies

geothermal—having to do with heat from the Earth

habitat— the environment in which life forms live and grow

Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI)—a measure of the health of a stream on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being most healthy) that is based on the macroinvertebrate communities present

hydrothermal—having to do with hot water

invasive species—a non-native organism that has intruded into an area and may have serious detrimental effects on native organisms

larva(e)—newly hatched insects that are still without wings

macroinvertebrate(s)—a visible animal that lacks a backbone

metabolism—the physical and chemical processes in which food is converted by an organism for the maintenance of life

microorganism(s)—tiny life forms such as bacteria or algae; individuals are usually not visible to the naked eye

mineral—a solid that occurs naturally and has a definite chemical composition. A mineral’s atoms usually form a regular pattern.

mollusk(s)—an invertebrate typically having a hard shell that encloses a soft body, such as a snail or bivalve

Neva Riviera—a character, reputedly a pirate, who has had several previous encounters with the Yellowstone Ministry of Mysteries

outcompete—to compete against in a manner that exceeds and may overpower

pH—a measure of the acidity or basicity of water ranging from 1-14 (1 being strongly acidic, 14 strongly basic) as determined by percent Hydrogen ion

photosynthesis—the process in which plants or plant-like microorganisms use sunlight to change carbon dioxide into cellular material and split water (or hydrogen sulfide) into byproducts such as oxygen (or sulfur)

Plecoptra—the scientific name for stoneflies

pollutant(s)—a waste material that contaminates water, air, or soil

predator(s)—an animal that survives by killing and eating other animals

respiration—the physical and chemical processes by which an organism takes in and uses oxygen and emits carbon dioxide

Sherlock Holmes—a fictional English detective

sodium—a soft, light, silver-white metallic element; when sodium is combined with chloride, the compound is known as salt

subalpine—the mountainous regions higher than foothills, but lower than tree lines

thermophile(s)—microorganisms that thrive in extremely hot environments

Tricoptera—the scientific name for caddisflies

tributary(ies)—a stream that flows into a larger stream or body of water

tolerant—accepting of the presence of something

villainy—acts of wickedness

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