LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

barrier island n.
A long, relatively narrow island running parallel to the mainland, built up by the action of waves and currents and serving to protect the coast from erosion by surf and tidal surges.
binding matrix n.
The finer-grained material enclosing and binding the larger grains in a sedimentary rock or sediment.
continental shelf n.
The shallow bottom just offshore of most continents between water's edge and a sharp drop-off where the bottom plunges steeply [more]
dissipate v.
To cause to separate and go in various directions; dispel, disperse, scatter.
dredge v.
To deepen, widen or remove materials from harbors and waterways by means of various machines equipped with scooping or suction devices.
elevation n.
Height on the earth's surface above sea level.
estuarine adj.
Formed or deposited in an estuary.
germination n.
The first stage in the development of a plant from seed.
glaciation n.
A period during which the polar ice-caps extend towards the equator, covering large areas of the Earth; the alteration of a land surface by a massive movement of ice.
hypothesis n.
A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations; a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena.
immersion n.
Something covered completely with water.
inlet n.
A recess, such as a bay or cove, along a coast; a stream or bay leading inland, as from the ocean; an estuary; a narrow passage of water, as between two islands; a drainage passage.
intertidal adj.
Of or being the region between the high tide mark and the low tide mark.
intolerant adj.
Not enduring; not able to endure.
Intracoastal Waterway n.
A 4,800 km (3,000 mile) long recreational and commercial waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.
laterally adv.
By the side; sidewise; toward, or from, the side.
mainland n.
The main land mass of a country or continent as opposed to an island, which is separated from the country or area by water.
maritime forest n.
A forested community affected by salt spray, usually located on the mainland side of a barrier beach or island. [more]
marsh n.
A low-lying wet land usually between land and water consists of mostly grassy vegetation. [more]
migration n.
The mass movement of an animal, human, or object from one place to another.
peat n.
An accumulation of partially decayed vegetable matter formed in wetlands or peatlands (also called bogs or tropical swamp forests). Dried peat can be used as fuel.
peninsula n.
A piece of land that projects into a body of water or is nearly surrounded by water.
post-glacial adj.
Relating to or occurring during the time following a glacial period. [more]
remnant n.
Something left over; a remainder.
rhizome n.
A horizontal, usually underground stem that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes (a knot or bulge on the plant root or shoot). Buds that form at the joints produce new shoots and can become new plants; also called rootstalk or rootstock.
salt marsh n.
A low coastal grassland frequently overflowed by the tide.
sedimentary adj.
Of or relating to rocks formed by the deposition of sediment. [more]
storm surge n.
Water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around a storm. [more]
subtidal adj.
Pertaining to shallow coastal areas below the low tide mark.
tectonic adj.
Forces or conditions within the earth that cause movements of the crust such as earthquakes, folds and faults. [more]
topography n.
The surface features of a place or region; the character, natural features, and configuration of land; terrain.