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.
David Lawrence is a Ph.D. student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. His current research investigates the influence of climate change and land-use alteration on the spread and potential impacts of non-native fishes on native fishes in rivers of the Northwest. Climate and land-use related stream warming can have detrimental effects on ecosystems by facilitating range expansions of warm-water invasive fishes such as smallmouth bass, while reducing the thermally suitable habitat for cold-water native species, such as stream-rearing Chinook salmon. His work will be used to identify stream areas to either conserve or restore to reduce the range expansion of invasive fishes and assuage their predicted impacts. Prior to beginning his doctorate, David worked as a research scientist at the University of Washington and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. He earned his MA at Boston University and BS at Benedictine University in Illinois.