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.
Alaska Climate Center first of eight to open throughout the nation
ANCHORAGE, AK—The Department of the Interior held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today for its new Alaska Climate Science Center (CSC), which is being hosted in Anchorage by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The ceremony for the Alaska CSC marked the first official opening of one of eight regional climate science centers the department is establishing throughout the nation.
“Everyone here knows that Alaska is ‘ground zero' in witnessing the impacts associated with climate change, with rapidly receding glaciers and a thawing permafrost having far-ranging effects on plants, animals, and humans alike,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Anne Castle.
In addition to Assistant Secretary Castle, participating leaders included University of Alaska Chancellors Brian Rogers of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Fran Ulmer of the University of Alaska Anchorage; and John Pugh of the University of Alaska Southeast; as well as U.S. Geological Survey Regional Executive Leslie Holland-Bartels and the interim director of the Alaska CSC, Mark Shasby of USGS.