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 scientific priorities of the Alaska CSC are driven by the needs and priorities of the natural and cultural resource management communities in the Alaska region.
The Alaska Climate Change Executive Roundtable (ACCER) and Alaska region Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) serve as the primary conduits for stakeholder input to the Alaska CSC. Comprised of senior-level executives from both federal and non-federal agencies in Alaska, ACCER serves as the formal stakeholder advisory council for the Center.
ACCER meets at least twice annually to provide guidance in the development of the Alaska CSC's Annual Action Plan, and to review progress over the previous year. Implementation of the Alaska CSC's Strategic Plan is further assisted by a sub-group of ACCER, the Climate Change Coordinating Committee (C4).
The Climate Change Coordinating Committee (C4) assists the Alaska CSC in implementing its Strategic Plan by 1) Providing guidance in the conversion of stakeholder input into an Annual Action Plan and 2) Recommending how to utilize available scientific assets to best address regional science priorities.
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.