Will there ever be a Mars Day on Mars? What would they do? Rake red dirt all day? Just something to ponder as you consider today's list of earthy words.
1. meliorism: (a) marked by or showing concern for the environment; (b) advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment; (c) the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment; (d) active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply.
2. eurytopic: (a) a biological agent or condition that is a hazard to humans or the environment; (b) tolerant of wide variation in one or more environmental factors; (c) tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting); (d) ecological or environmental.
3. dendrochronology: (a) the ecology of human communities and populations especially as concerned with preservation of environmental quality (as of air or water) through proper application of conservation and civil engineering practices; (b) the science of dating events and variations in environment in former periods by comparative study of growth rings in trees and aged wood; (c) any of the sciences (as geology, meteorology, or oceanography) that deal with the earth or with one or more of its parts; (d) a branch of earth science dealing with the physical processes and phenomena occurring especially in the earth and in its vicinity.
4. anthropocentric: (a) the science of the interrelationships between the physiology of organisms and their environment; (b) modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environment; (c) providing shelter from contact with the outside world; (d) considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe.
5. biotope: (a) biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals; (b) a relatively stable ecological stage or community especially of plants that is achieved through successful adaptation to an environment; (c) a region uniform in environmental conditions and in its populations of animals and plants for which it is the habitat; (d) a physical or biochemical defect that is present at birth and may be inherited or environmentally induced.
6. cline: (a) the destruction of large areas of the natural environment especially as a result of deliberate human action; (b) an organization or area designated to conserve and protect natural resources; (c) a corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection; (d) a gradient of morphological or physiological change in a group of related organisms usually along a line of environmental or geographic transition.
7. effluent: (a) to adapt to a new temperature, altitude, climate, environment, or situation; (b) precipitation (as rain or snow) having increased acidity caused by environmental factors (as atmospheric pollutants); (c) the biology of energy transformations and energy exchanges (as in photosynthesis) within and between living things and their environments; (d) waste material (as smoke, liquid industrial refuse, or sewage) discharged into the environment especially when serving as a pollutant.
8. deracinate: (a) to remove or separate from a native environment or culture; (b) of or relating to human beings or the period of their existence on earth; (c) a somewhat steady level of radiation in the natural environment (as from cosmic rays); (d) marked by deprivation especially of the necessities of life or of healthful environmental influences.
9. convergence: (a) independent development of similar characters (as of bodily structure of unrelated organisms or cultural traits) often associated with similarity of habits or environment; (b) the acquisition of dissimilar characters by related organisms in unlike environments; (c) a slow movement of the continents on a deep-seated viscous zone within the earth; (d) having achieved an often specified and usually harmonious relationship with the environment or with other individuals.
10. dendrology: (a) the study of swamps and their related ecosystems; (b) the study of trees; (c) the life processes especially of an organism or group; (d)a science dealing with the properties, distribution, and circulation of water on and below the earth's surface and in the atmosphere.