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.
"Since Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar appointed UMass Amherst host to the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC), local ecologists, conservation biologist, engineers, and climate scientists have busily aligned projects and data sets to get the largest of these national centers up and running. One of eight centers nationwide devoted to providing the scientific tools necessary to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Northeast region was one of the three final centers to be chosen as part of Secretary Salazar's national climate change strategy initiated in 2009.
Richard Palmer, civil and environmental engineering, directs the center's academic efforts and with NECSC's first permanent federal director, Mary Ratnaswamy, has been working to bring center partners online as well as bridge communication between the NECSC and other federal and regional centers. Partners in the northeast consortium include the College of Menominee Nation, Columbia University, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, and the University of Wisconsin, in addition to UMass Amherst."