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.
Steven B. Daley-Laursen is Senior Executive to the Vice President of Research and Economic Development and Professor in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. Dr. Daley-Laursen has 32 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Montana, Montana State University, University of Minnesota and University of Idaho, in roles like Professor of Natural Resources, Interdisciplinary Center Director, Sea Grant College Director, Extension Program Leader, Associate Dean, Dean and President. He served as interim President of the University of Idaho in 2008-09 and as dean of the College of Natural Resources from 2002 to 2008.
In his current role, Dr. Daley-Laursen provides leadership for the development of multi-disciplinary research and outreach initiatives, is active in federal government and agency relations, and is PI for the Northwest Climate Science Center, and Director of the university's data management and cyberinfrastructure initiative, the Northwest Knowledge Network.
Dr. Daley-Laursen's scholarly activities have focused on leadership theory in natural resource management and environmental education; technology transfer processes between scientists and management agencies; and organizational and institutional design for sustainable development and sustainability. He has worked throughout the United States and worked and studied in 15 other countries. He received the USDA Secretary's National Honor Award for his work on an environmental science education program on the White Earth Indian Reservation. Dr. Daley-Laursen was an inaugural fellow in the Mondale Emerging Leaders Public Policy Program at the University of Minnesota, and an inaugural fellow in the Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Development Program for Higher Education Administrators at the University of Wisconsin. He was the national public policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs, chair of the 2009 NASULGC (APLU) National Task Force on the Farm Bill Forestry Title, and has held several leadership positions at the national, state and local levels in the Society of American Foresters and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU).
Dr. Daley-Laursen studied international relations and political science at the College of William and Mary, and earned a bachelor's in conservation and resource development from the University of Maryland. He earned a master's in forest resources management and a doctorate in forest science from the University of Idaho in 1979 and 1984, respectively. He and his spouse, Dianne, and their daughter and son enjoy outdoor recreation, community volunteerism and service, and immersion in cultures and geography around the world.