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.
As University Program Manager for the Northwest Climate Science Center at the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon State University, Josh Foster is responsible for implementing administrative and management activities connecting the core university partners and consortium members as well as conduct of the annual climate “boot camp” training. He has over 20 years of experience working on climate change science and policy in the federal and non-profit sectors including over 18 years working on climate adaptation. Prior to this position, he managed the Urban Leaders Adaptation Initiative at the Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC. He was a program manager in the Climate and Societal Interactions Program at the NOAA Climate Program Office (Silver Spring, MD) for 13 years helping to develop the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program, the National Integrated Drought Information System, and managing the Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services Program. He also served on the White House Sub-Committee on Water Availability and Quality, and participated in development of the Nobel Prize Winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report (2001).
Josh has a joint Masters from Yale University in International Relations and in Environmental Management, and a B.A. in International Relations and Environmental Policy from UMASS at Amherst, with a minor in Latin American Studies.