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.
Connectivity among conservation reserves has long been recognized as necessary for long-term persistence of populations and continued evolution in anthropogenically-dominated landscapes. Long-distance connectivity becomes increasingly important in the face of climate change, to allow species to shift their ranges in response to changing conditions. In the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project, we are modeling landscape response to climate change and urban growth in the Northeast over the next 70 years. We model response both by representative species and in a coarse-filter assessment of ecological integrity. In this talk, I'll focus on how we assess connectivity at both local and regional scales, with the goal of assisting practitioners in protecting and restoring important connections among reserves.