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Adaptation to climate change: refers to a response to climate change that aims at reducing the vulnerability of biological systems (including human systems) to climate change effects. Adaptive capacity is closely linked to social and economic conditions and is unevenly distributed across different regions and populations, with developing countries generally having less capacity to adapt.

Coastal Shoreline County (from The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has derived 452 Coastal Shoreline Counties. FEMA's 100-year flood plain, or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), delineates where the National Flood Insurance Program's floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies. The Coastal Shoreline Counties are counties that have a coastline bordering the open ocean, or contain FEMA identified coastal high hazard areas in the SFHA. American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico are included in this suite. For more detailed information about Coastal Shoreline Counties visit:

Mitigation: Climate change mitigation: refers to actions aimed at limiting the magnitude and/or rate of climate change. Climate change mitigation involves reduction in anthropogenic emission of GHGs (including those emitted during energy production and usage, food production, and provision of resources), the enhanced removal of these gases from the atmosphere, the reduction of processes that can impact climate change (for example, in land use and modification of the water cycle), and the facilitation of processes that could slow-down climate change. Mitigation of climate change impacts refers to the lessening of impacts of climate change, such as impacts of sea level rise, for example, through changes in the built environment.

Practice-relevant knowledge: defined here as knowledge that is of relevance to solving practical problems or to the management of societal problems.

Probability density function: is a function that describes the relative likelihood for a random variable to take on a given value. The probability of the random variable falling within a particular range of values is given by the integral of this variable’s density over that range. The probability density function is nonnegative everywhere, and its integral over the entire space is equal to one.

Resilience: the ability to recover quickly from disturbances, illness or misfortune.

Resiliency: Resiliency is a different form of resilience. Both nouns refer to the same ability to recover quickly. But  in today’s English, resilience is far more common than resiliency, especially outside the U.S. and Canada. In North American publications, resilience appears about four times as often as resiliency. Outside North America, resiliency appears only rarely. In this document, we only use resilience.

Service Learning: is a method of teaching students that combines classroom-learned knowledge with meaningful community service. This form of learning emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility. Under the Community Service Act of 1990, the US government and the authority of the Corporation for National and Community Service, whose mission is to encourage the development of Service Learning opportunities nation-wide that result in valuable learning experiences while helping communities, developed the Learn and Serve America (LSA) grant program that also sponsor’s the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. LSA defines Service Learning as: "a method under which students or participants learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of a community; is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program, and with the community; and helps foster civic responsibility; and that is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the educational components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled; and provides structured time for the students or participants to reflect on the service experience" (42 US Code 12511).

Social Capital: The commonalities of most definitions of social capital are that they focus on social relations that have productive benefits. The variety of definitions identified in the literature stem from the highly context specific nature of social capital and the complexity of its conceptualization and operationalization. Social capital does not have a clear, undisputed meaning, for substantive and ideological reasons. In the context of MARI, social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions. Increasing evidence shows that social cohesion is critical for societies to prosper economically and for development to be sustainable. Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions, which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together. (see, e.g. The World Bank, 1999). This definition follows Robert Putnam's definition, for whom social capital "refers to the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other" (Putnam, 1995).

SWOT Analysis: is a tool for an analysis of the overall strategic position of a “business” in its environment. Its purpose is to identify the strategies that will create a firm specific “business model” that will best align available resources and capabilities to the requirements of the environment in which the organization operates. It provides a foundation for evaluating internal potential and limitations and the likely opportunities and threats from the external environment. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By definition, Strengths (S) and Weaknesses (W) are considered to be internal factors over which an organization has some measure of control, while Opportunities (O) and Threats (T) are considered to be external factors over which the organization has essentially no control.

Threshold: refers to the level, point, or value at which an effect begins to be produced, and above which something is true or will take place and below which it is not or will not.