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.
DOINews: Interior Announces New 2013 Research Projects at the Northeast Climate Science Center
Last edited 4/26/2016
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Northeast CSC is awarding just over $800,000 to universities and other partners for research to guide resource managers in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.
The six funded studies, plus tribal support and one that will be conducted jointly with the Southeast CSC, focus on how climate change will affect natural resources in the northeastern U.S. and management actions that can be taken to help offset such change. They include:
Developing tools to identify the refugia sites where vulnerable spruce ecosystems are most likely to persist as climate changes. Linking climate-forest models to bird-habitat models will determine which of those refugia sites have the greatest richness of high-priority bird species across climate scenarios.
Forecasting how forests in New England will change between now and the end of the century under different climate and landscape change scenarios. Understanding how these economically and ecologically valuable forests might respond to climate change is important so that managers can develop approaches to enhance the ability of these forests to be resilient and adapt to changing climate conditions.
Developing a robust decision-support information system to assess vulnerabilities and identify sites most suitable for grassland bird species as climate changes in the future. Prairie ecosystems and many grassland birds, already stressed by habitat fragmentation, are especially vulnerable to rapid shifts in climate. These impacts are exacerbated by drought and extreme weather events.
Conducting two separate projects that assess stream condition, water quality and habitat connectivity; together, these projects will inform a decision support mapper that resource managers and policy makers can use to help protect and conserve stream fishes and stream ecosystems, as well as a data portal to help model and monitor stream temperatures. Increasing stream temperature can have significant adverse effects on the welfare and distribution of aquatic life, including economically important fishes.
Helping decision-makers use adaptive management and other tools to develop effective landscape-scale strategies to manage vulnerable headwater streams overseen by multiple agencies. In the Northeast, these areas are important habitat for trust species such as brook trout and stream salamanders, yet growing evidence indicates that these coldwater streams are especially susceptible to changing climates.
In a joint project with the Southeast CSC, researchers will address a complex local-scale conservation problem: helping resource managers effectively address the impacts associated with sea-level rise and coastal flooding on migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
The College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute will coordinate a summit aimed at tribes and climate change; the summit will be developed specifically to bring together the Northeast Climate Science Center with American Indian practitioners and scientists. This summit will help American Indian tribes build their ability to adapt to and be resilient to the impacts of climate change through implementing adaptive measures and decisions.