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.
Warming stream temperatures are increasing the range of non-native, predatory smallmouth bass into critical salmon rearing habitat. Erika Sutherland, one of the Northwest Climate Science Center's newest Graduate Fellows, is currently conducting research to better understand the recruitment bottlenecks of smallmouth bass at the most upstream extent of their range in hopes to limit the impact of future climate-change induced range expansion. In a parallel stream, she will also test the effectiveness of smallmouth bass nest disruption as a potential management strategy and its impact on the co-existing subyearling Chinook salmon population. Erika conducts her field work on the North and Middle forks of the John Day River in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. As a University of Washington graduate student supervised by Julian Olden, Erika works closely with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy and with the U.S. Geological Survey.