acid rain: rain that has absorbed acidic gases from the air. A form of air pollution, it can damage the environment as well as the health of humans and animals.

anthracite: a hard, shiny, black type of coal that burns without much smoke

anthropology: the science that studies human beings, especially their society and customs

archaeology: the science that studies the people and life of past times

bedrock: the layer of rock that lies just beneath the soil at the Earth's surface

bituminous: containing bitumen, a heavy form of petroleum (oil) found in nature

botanical: having to do with plants or plant life

carboniferous formation: a formation is a group of rock beds or strata. A carboniferous formation is one dating to the Carboniferous geological time period, beginning around 315 million years ago. The remains of the tree ferns, horsetail rushes and conifers that grew in this period produced coal.

carnivore: one who eats meat

Cree: a First Nation living mainly in what are now the Prairie provinces

Devonian: a geological period from around 350 to 405 million years ago when the first trees, forests, spiders and insects appeared

erosion: the wearing away of soil by wind, water, ice or living things

ethnography: the scientific classification and description of living cultural groups of people.

ethnology: the part of anthropology that studies living cultural groups of people. An ethnologist often lives with a group of people in order to study them.

flammable: easily set on fire

fossil: the remains of an animal or plant preserved in a rock

gemmologist: an expert in gemmology, the study of gemstones (rare or beautiful material like diamonds, amber or garnet).

geochemist: a person trained in the chemistry related to geology (the science of the Earth's crust)

geothermal energy: energy generated from the hot rocks under the Earth's surface

gneiss: a coarse-grained metamorphic rock composed of thin layers of minerals, usually feldspar and quartz

graphite: a soft black form of carbon found in nature, used for pencil leads

Haida: a First Nation living mainly in western British Columbia

hydro: electricity produced by water power

igneous rock: rock formed from hot liquid magma or lava that cools and hardens, either below or above the Earth's surface

Inuit: an Aboriginal people living in the Arctic (northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland and eastern Siberia)

kerogen: fossilized plant material that can be turned into petroleum

Leda clay: silty marine clay made up of fine particles of bedrock ground by glaciers and deposited in a short-lived sea at the end of the ice age. This type of clay is very unstable and, if disturbed, may result in a landslide. It can also be compressed under the weight of buildings, causing them to settle irregularly. When this type of clay loses moisture, it does not absorb it again; this results in ground shrinkage, which causes foundation problems for buildings

magma: hot molten or liquid rock

mantle: the part of the Earth between the crust and the core

marine invertebrate: an animal without a backbone, that lives in the sea, such as a starfish, oyster or octopus

metamorphic rock: rock formed from igneous or sedimentary rocks due to pressure, heat (though not melted), or chemical conditions below the Earth's surface

micrometer: an instrument that measures small distances, angles or objects

mineralogy: the scientific study of minerals, including their formation, structure, and physical and chemical properties.

natural history: the study of animals, plants and minerals

naturalist: a person who studies animals and plants

non-porous: not having tiny holes that collect and store liquids; a surface that neither water nor air can penetrate

octant: an instrument shaped like an eighth of a circle, marked with lines for measuring degrees, used in astronomy, navigation and surveying

Ojibway: a First Nation living mainly in the region around Lake Superior and westward, traditionally from the Ottawa Valley to the prairies

outcrop: a place where rock is exposed at the Earth's surface and can be examined without digging

paleontologist: a scientist who studies fossils and ancient life forms

paleontology: the study of fossils and ancient life forms

peat: partially decomposed organic material (wetland plants) found in swamps and bogs

planktonic: to do with plankton, tiny animal or plant life in salt and fresh water that provides food for fish and other water animals

porous: full of tiny holes that water or air can penetrate

portage: in places where there are dangerous waters, canoes or boats and supplies are carried overland until they can be put back in the water

Precambrian: the earliest geological period, from the formation of the Earth to about 590 million years ago, when the first single-celled and primitive multi-celled organisms appeared

Province of Canada: in 1840, Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) joined to form the Province of Canada. The old Upper Canada was called Canada West and the old Lower Canada was called Canada East.

reservoir: a place where liquid collects and is stored

sediment: loose particles and bits of rocks (sand, silt and gravel) created by erosion and moved around by wind, water, or ice

sedimentary rock: rock formed when particles of eroded rock, called sediment, are pressed or cemented together

sextant: an instrument for measuring vertical angles between two points or between some point and the horizon. It is shaped like a sixth of a circle and is a combination of telescope, mirrors and a scale to measure the angle.

solidify: to make or become solid (not a liquid or gas), for example water solidifies into ice

smog: a mix, in the air, of smoke and chemicals with fog

strata: layers of rock

stratigraphy: the study of rock layers to determine its age

surveying: the science of examining and measuring the natural features of a particular area, either above or beneath the Earth's surface

theodolite: an instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical angles, used in surveying

topographically: having to do with describing or mapping of the physical features (mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.) of a place or region

topography: the description and mapping of the physical features (mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.) of the Earth's surface

trigonometry: the part of math to do with the sides and angles of triangles. Used in navigating, surveying and engineering

X-ray diffraction: a technique for studying the crystal structure of a mineral by exposing the crystals to X-rays and observing the pattern made.

zoological: having to do with animals and animal life (zoology)