Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
The science activities undertaken by a CSC are driven principally by the Center's Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan establishes high-level climate science priorities while ensuring this science also is pertinent to and addresses management needs. The Strategic Plan is used to determine which proposed climate science projects and other activities will be funded by the Alaska CSC. In developing this Strategic Plan, the Alaska CSC sought advice from two main groups:
The five Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) operating in the Alaska region. The LCCs provide essential input on science needs and a venue for exploring cooperative and complimentary efforts.
The Climate Change Coordinating Committee (C4), a sub-group under ACCER, assists the Alaska CSC in implementing its Strategic Plan. Regional Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) coordinators, the USGS Alaska Science Center, and an Academic Leadership Team drawn from all three of the University of Alaska campuses also assist the Center in its work to address Alaska's resource management priorities. Likewise, all of these groups work with the Alaska CSC to help maximize the use of existing resources and to minimize any duplication of effort.
National Coordination and Synthesis
Each CSC is part of a nationwide science resource to consist of eight Climate Science Centers and the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. CSCs will maintain close ties and ensure tight linkages between activities being undertaken in neighboring CSC regions to minimize duplication and ensure that scientific results are not limited by geographic boundaries.
The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, as the coordinating entity for the CSCs, will
review all regional science agendas regularly to identify activities that should be coordinated across multiple CSCs;
convene a national advisory panel, including senior scientists who can identify innovative new scientific approaches that could be integrated into work of the CSCs; and
undertake national level syntheses and other scientific activities to complement and integrate the regional activities undertaken by each CSC.