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 North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) strives to provide users with data, technology, and training that incorporates the best possible understanding of past, present, and future climate into the decision process. The NC CSC has identified these four goals which are being met through cross-sector collaboration and regular iterative engagement with resource managers, decision makers, and the public:
Compile existing climate data and projections for use in regional climate models that can inform short-term management objectives;
Gain greater understanding of climate drivers and impacts on key regional sectors: natural, cultural, & energy resources and ecosystems goods and services;
Evaluate vulnerabilities through physical, ecological, and social perspectives and consider adaptive capabilities with a focus on human livelihood, health, and safety; and
Develop user-driven decision support tools that aid in developing effective climate change response strategies and resilient management practices.
The science activities undertaken by a CSC are driven principally by a Climate Science Agenda. The Agenda establishes high-level climate science priorities while ensuring this science also is pertinent to and addresses management needs. The Agenda is used to determine which proposed climate science projects will be funded by a CSC. In developing and implementing the Science Agenda, the NC CSC receives advice and guidance from its Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Joint USDA/DOI Stakeholder Committee (JSC). The NC CSC also periodically receives guidance from a panel of technical reviewers that assists with independent scientific review of projects comprising the NC CSC research program.