GEOG 30N Final Exam Vocabulary

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the practice of cultivating soils, producing crops and raising livestock for human use and consumption

food security

an adequate, reliable and available food supply provided to all people at all times

Green Revolution

the simultaneous development of new varieties of food plants and altered agricultural practices to increase crops yields, starting in the 1950s


planting multiple crops in close proximity


the uniform planting of a single crop


chemicals used to kill or control unwanted organisms


the artificial addition of water to support agriculture

inorganic fertilizer

mined or synthetically manufactured mineral supplements


chemicals used to kill or control insects


chemicals used to control unwanted plants


chemicals used to kill fungi


chemicals used to kill rodents

persistent chemicals

chemicals that remain in the environment for a long time period in an unchanged state

nonpersistent chemicals

chemicals that rapidly degrade through organic or inorganic processes in the environment


the buildup of toxins in the tissue of organisms


the bioaccumulation of a substance up the food chain

acute toxicity

adverse effects that develop from exposure to a large dose of a substance

chronic toxicity

the development of negative effects as a result of exposure to small doses of a substance over long time periods

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1910

established a registry of pesticides determined to be effective and regulates pesticides available to the public vs. certified applicators

Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938

gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to oversee the safety of food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices; allows EPA to regulate pesticide residue on food for people or animals

Food Quality Protection Act of 1996

updated pesticide safety standards of new pesticides used on food and required older pesticides to be reassessed using tougher standards


raising the water table so it covers plant roots

soil salinization

the buildup of salts in surface soil layers

soil health

the continued ability of the soil to function as a living system to sustain the life that depends on it

soil degradation

a change in soil health resulting in a decreased capacity of the ecosystem to provide goods and services to those using it


capable of being farmed productively


the degradation of formerly productive dryland ecosystems by inappropriate farming practices


the detachment and movement of material from one area and its deposition in another

cultural eutrophication

the addition of nutrients to a waterbody because of human activities

no-till farming

a system of planting crops without plowing using herbicides to control weeds

contour farming

furrows are plowed perpendicular to the slope, following the natural contours of the land to help prevent the formation of rills and gullies


planting alternating bands of different types of crops across a slope


cutting level platforms into steep hillsides to contain water and soil


rows of trees or other tall, perennial plants planted at the edges of fields to act a as a windbreak

Green Belt Movement

established in 1977 by Wangari Maathai to combat a lack of water and food security in Kenya

Great Green Wall Initiative

a movement in the Sahel to combat desertification


the variety of life in all its forms


a group of organisms that can reproduce and have fertile offspring

species richness

the number of different species represented in a defined area

latitudinal gradient

species richness generally increases as you move toward the equator


the touring of natural habitats in a manner meant to minimize ecological impact


the connections that humans unconsciously seek with the rest of life

Lacey Act

prohibits the trade of wildlife, fish, or plants, that have been illegally obtained

Migratory Bird Act

a treaty between the U.S. and Canada that makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell migratory birds

Endangered Species Act

no activity by a government agency should lead to the extinction of an endangered species and all government agencies must use whatever means necessary to preserve the species


a species that has the high potential to become extinct in the foreseeable future


a species that has the high potential to become endangered in the foreseeable future and could become extinct if a critical factor in their environment were changed

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)

protected endangered species by banning the international trade of their body parts

Convention on Biological Diversity

sets global initiatives to conserve biodiversity, use biodiversity in a sustainable manner, and ensure the fair distribution of the benefits of biodiversity