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The result from the influence of human beings on nature.

Algal Bloom
The rapid increase in (sometimes harmful) algae due to a natural or human-induced oversupply of nutrients.
Aquatic Habitats
Plants and animals that live under water.
Biodiversity describes the richness and variety of life on earth; it refers to every living thing, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. Biodiversity is indicated by the number and variety of species found within a specified geographic region.
Biological Diversity
The variety and variability of life, from genes, to animals, to ecosystems.
Canopy Cover

Vertical projection of the outermost perimeter of the natural spread of foliage of plants.

Carbon Sink
Forests, oceans, or other natural locations that have the ability to absorb or hold more carbon (usually carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere than they give off. It is the opposite of a carbon source, which acts to emit carbon into the atmosphere, such as a motor vehicle or a coal-fired power plant.

Climate Modeling
Climate models are run using data on the factors that drive the climate, and projections about how these might change in the future.
Cultural Eutrophication
The result of too many nutrients entering a water body, frequently from agricultural land, which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen.

The study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them.

Ecological Systems

A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with its environment.


1. A community or group of living organisms that live in and interact with each other in a specific environment.

2. A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Feedback Loops

In climate change, a feedback loop is a phenomenon in which a change (such as temperature rise) either accelerates ("positive feedback") or slows down ("negative feedback"). One example of a positive feedback loop is melting ice. Because ice is light-coloured and reflective, much of the sunlight (and associated heat) that hits it simply bounces back to space. As the earth gets warmer, more ice (in the form of glaciers, ice flows, etc.) melts, revealing more of the darker-coloured land or water below. The darker surfaces absorb more light and heat which leads to more warming. This in turn leads to more ice melting, and so on setting off an accelerating feedback loop.

Fish Advisories

Fish consumption advisories are warnings for people when fish or shellfish are unsafe to eat.

Fish Weir

Fish weirs are an ancient technology used around the globe for centuries in places including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. These traps were built from rocks, pilings, or wooden posts that are designed to direct the movement of fish in streams or tidal waters. While all fish weirs maintain the goal of directing and trapping fish, they are specifically designed to meet the unique conditions of their landscape and water bodies and the biology of the fish they catch. Furthermore, fish weirs are still being used today for scientific monitoring.


Food Security

All people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.

Fossil Fuels

1. Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are all considered fossil fuels because they were formed from the fossilized, buried remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Because of their origins, fossil fuels have a high carbon content.

2. A natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms.

"Ghost Moose"

Ghost moose is often the name given to moose that have lost large sections of hair on their body. This condition is caused by the winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus). The most common sign observed is the white to greyish appearance on large sections of  the body due to hair loss. Other signs can include, observing heavy tick burdens, skin erosions, weight loss and abnormal  behavior. Combined with winter conditions, cumulative effects can negatively impact the health of the moose, making them more vulnerable to predators, human conflict and vehicle collisions. This condition is typically seen in calves and yearlings.

GIS Mapping

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a computer system capable of creating, storing, managing, analyzing and displaying geographically referenced information.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gasses are gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere much as a layer of glass or translucent plastic traps heat in a greenhouse used for growing plants. The term ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ typically refers to gasses that are released from anthropogenic (human-influenced) sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

Greenhouse Gasses

1. Gasses in Earth's atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere.

2. Any gas that absorbs heat energy emitted from Earth’s surface and reradiates it back, making the planet warmer. Examples are carbon dioxide and methane.

Gulf of Maine

The large area of ocean between Maine, Nova Scotia and Cape Cod. It extends from Cape Cod in Massachusetts, to the coasts of New Hampshire, Maine, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, and to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. It covers 93,000 square kilometers (36,000 square miles) of ocean and has 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) of coastline.

Harmful (Toxic) Algal Blooms

The rapid increase in harmful algae due to a natural or human-induced oversupply of nutrients.


Within Waponaki cosmology (the study of the nature of the universe) is fundamentally a lifeway that includes a paradigm that links the indigenous people as co-participant amid the dynamic ecology and ensures the inclusivity of all life while simultaneously sharing the land and water with others- both human and non-human.

Humic Acids

Various organic acids resulting from natural decomposition.  Humic acids impact not only the color and transparency of the water, (making it more tea colored) but also impact biologically important temperature dynamics and nutrient cycling within the lake ecosystem. The increase in humic acids in our lakes is sometimes referred to as the ‘brownification’ process.


The occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of a water within a given water system.

Ice Out

The disappearance of ice from the surface of a body of water (such as a lake) as a result of thawing.


Human-made structures such as roads, power-supplies, buildings, etc.

Invasive Aquatic Plant Infestation

Species that have been introduced to an area, sometimes accidentally, that cause damage to agriculture and/or the natural environment. Examples include weeds, insects, and diseases.

Invasive Species

Species that have been introduced to an area, sometimes accidentally, that cause damage to agriculture and/or the natural environment. Examples include weeds, insects, and diseases.

Iterative Processes

The iterative process is the practice of building, refining, and improving a project, product, or initiative. Teams that use the iterative development process create, test, and revise until they’re satisfied with the end result. You can think of an iterative process as a trial-and-error methodology that brings your project closer to its end goal.

Littoral Zone

Also known as the intertidal zone. This describes the area where the sea and land meet (coastlines). It is very rich in nutrients and is home to a variety of organisms. This zone is covered with water during high tides, but at low tides most of the area is exposed to air and is drier.

Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define Lyme disease as the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and rarely, Borrelia mayonii. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.


The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians is comprised of some 1700 members and is led by a Tribal Chief. A smaller band of the larger Maliseet Nation of New Brunswick, Canada, the Houlton Band calls the Meduxnekeag River home. The Maliseets are river people who have traditionally been hunters and gatherers in the St. John River basin, of which the Meduxnekeag is a tributary.

Meaningful Involvement

"Meaningful involvement" is actual co-participation of the tribes culturally through better negotiations in planning, rather than just consultation with federal or state agencies which can end up just being a letter or phone call. It was a policy developed through the EPA by an Executive Order from President Clinton.

Mercury, DDT, Glyphosates

Toxic substances from pesticides and agricultural run off.


The part of philosophy that is concerned with the basic causes and nature of things.


The Mi'kmaq (also Mi'gmaq, Lnu, Miꞌkmaw or Miꞌgmaw; English: /ˈmɪɡmɑː/ MIG-mah; Miꞌkmaq: [miːɡmaɣ])[3][4][5] are a First Nations people of the Northeastern Woodlands, indigenous to the areas of Canada's Atlantic Provinces and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec as well as Native Americans in the northeastern region of Maine. The traditional national territory of the Mi'kmaq is named Miꞌkmaꞌki (or Miꞌgmaꞌgi).


The creation of a mathematical representation of real patterns in our world to help better understand and predict those patterns.

Paleo Ecology

A branch of ecology that is concerned with the characteristics of ancient environments and with their relationships to ancient plants and animals.

Passamaquoddy (Peskotomuhkati)

Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township

Passamaquoddies are divided between two principal locations: Pleasant Point on Passamaquoddy Bay, and Indian Township near the St. Croix River.

Passamaquoddy at Sipayik (Pleasant Point)

Passamaquoddy have lived and flourished within our ancestral homeland at the least since the time when the Laurentide Ice Glaciers melted away from this part of North America, about 10 to 14 thousand years ago. Passamaquoddy Bay and neighboring West Isles Archipelago also provided an abundance of salt-water food fish due to the productivity of the deep, cold, strong upwelling currents. The productivity and diversity of fish within the Passamaquoddy Bay region was truly magnificent, fitting the description of a Garden of Eden.

Penobscot Nation (penawahpkekeyak)

Since time immemorial, the Penobscot Nation, penawahpkekeyak, the people of the place of the white rocks, has inhabited its ancestral homeland situated within the drainage area of the Penobscot River and its many tributaries, lakes, and ponds. The Tribe’s primary village and seat of government, established on Indian Island, alenape meneha, is located immediately above Old Town Falls, a traditional Penobscot fishing place for spearing and netting salmon, shad, and alewives during spring and early summer.


pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. pH is really a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water.


Any materials harmful to the environment


A naturally occurring nutrient needed to sustain life both in the water and on land, but because it is generally present in lakes in low concentrations, it is a limiting factor for planktonic algal growth in lakes.  A relatively small amount of phosphorus is all that is needed to stimulate a serious algal bloom.



The process by which new individuals are added to a population, whether by birth and maturation or by immigration.

Regenerative Agriculture

Agricultural practices that focus on the health of the ecological system as a whole, not solely on high production yields of crops. This health includes: improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, aiding in carbon sequestration, incorporating humane treatment of livestock and farm workers and improving the overall larger ecosystem as a whole.


To separate and store a harmful substance such as carbon dioxide in a way that keeps it safe: example - A growing forest sequesters carbon and gives off oxygen.

Sleeper Species

Innocuous native or naturalized species that exhibit invasive characteristics and become pests in response to environmental change.


Susceptible of being dissolved in another substance, especially a liquid such as water.


Sphagnum mosses carpet the ground with colour on our marshes, heaths and moors. They play a vital role in the creation of peat bogs: by storing water in their spongy forms, they prevent the decay of dead plant material and eventually form peat.


An individual or group that has an interest in a particular decision.

Stormwater Runoff

Precipitation (rain or snowmelt) that flows across the land. In the natural environment, most precipitation is absorbed by trees and plants or permeates into the ground, which results in stable stream flows and good water quality. Things are different in the built environment. Rain that falls on a roof, driveway, patio or lawn runs off the surface more rapidly, picking up pollutants as it goes.


What a person needs in order to stay alive; the necessities of life.


The light scattering property of water. Suspended matter, such as clay and silt particles, organic matter, microscopic organisms, etc., may cause light to scatter in the water, making it less clear.


Native American peoples have inhabited the land we now call Maine for 12,000 years. Today four distinct tribes—the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot—are known collectively as the Wabanaki, or "People of the Dawnland".



The area of land from which water from rainfall collects and drains.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito borne viral disease. It is transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected mosquito. As temperatures rise in Maine mosquito season extends past the summer months meaning longer breeding seasons and increased hatch rates. This leads to an increase in the chances of transmission.

Winter Whiplash

The rapid shifting of weather between two extreme conditions such as drought to deluge or wildlife to downpour.


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