printer version (loads faster)


Glossary of terms for managing wholes

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

natural resource base - Nature's wealth and natural processes, on which all human wealth and survival depend. Our resource base includes some resources we can neither use up nor destroy, such as sunlight; some which are nonrenewable, such as coal; and some which are naturally self-renewing but can be exhausted if poorly used, such as timber, soils, and biodiversity.

Related terms: mineral dollars, paper dollars, solar dollars

Natural Systems Agriculture - Wes Jackson's innovative agricultural system, which seeks to avoid the problems cause by conventional tillage-based agricultures (erosion, nutrient loss, etc.) by developing a new agriculture based on perennial plants raised in a polyculture (many species together). The pilot system, under development since the early 1970s, seeks to emulate the prairie ecosystems of the central U.S. in a system that creates its own fertility and does its own pest control while providing harvestable grains and seeds.

Related pages: "Natural Systems Agriculture" at The Land Institute website

negative feedback - Feedback that tends to stabilize a process by reducing it when its effects become too great. The classic example: A thermostat turns on a heater in response to low temperature, then turns it off again when the temperature rises beyond a certain point. Net result: the temperature stabilizes. Many natural self-regulating processes work by negative feedback.

Related terms: positive feedback

Neuro-Linguistic Programming - A way for people to achieve excellence in any field. It was developed by studying the conscious and unconscious processes and patterns that exceptionally skillful people use.

NLP - Neuro-Linguistic Programming

nonbrittle - An environment characterized by reliable and regular precipitation, high humidity, and slow decay. Rainfall may be high or low, but moisture is always present. In nonbrittle places, long-term rest from disturbances such as grazing and fire increases biodiversity and helps land heal. Brittleness diagram.

Related terms: brittleness, brittle, brittleness-productivity scale

Related pages: "Brittleness" (articles)

Nonviolent Communication - Marshall Rosenberg's method of effective communication, which empowers the compassionate side of human nature.

Related terms: consensus

Related pages: "Consensus building", Center for Nonviolent Communication website

bell curve

normal curve - (also bell curve) The symmetrical bell-shaped curve of a normal distribution, which plots variations in a sample. For instance, if you measured the height of 100 children of the same age, some would be short and some tall, with most in the middle. Compare sigmoid curve, exponential curve.

NSA - Natural Systems Agriculture

NVC - Nonviolent Communication

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Suggestions for terms or definitions? Email us (opens web form).

Posted 23 April 2003