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.
Nate Mantua is an Associate Professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. His expertise revolves around climate dynamics and climate impacts on aquatic ecosystems. His research has focused on understanding the dynamics and consequences for natural variations in Pacific climate related to El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and climate impacts on Pacific salmon and marine ecosystems. He served on the Pacific Salmon Commission Panel on Fraser River Sockeye Declines, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Expert Panel on Marbled Murrelets, the Royal Society of Canada panel on Climate Change and Ocean Biodiversity, and the National Research Council's study of the Alaska Groundfish Fishery and Stellar Sea Lions. He received an Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from NOAA in 2000. For the past 3 years he has served as the Co-Director for the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, an interdisciplinary research team dedicated to increasing the climate resilience for people and nature.
Mr. Mantua has a B.S. degree from the University of California at Davis, and a PhD from the University of Washington.