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.
Prior to serving as the Communications Coordinator for the Northwest Climate Science Center, Lisa Hayward was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As a Fellow Lisa worked within the Ecosystems Mission area of the U.S. Geological Survey. She spent one year at headquarters in Reston, working to improve data infrastructure. For her second year she returned to Seattle to help build the communications program at Western Fisheries Research Center. Lisa received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Washington (UW) investigating stress physiology in birds under the supervision of John C. Wingfield. As a post-doctoral student she studied the impacts of motorcycles on spotted owls in Northern California. This work was conducted with Sam Wasser, director of the UW Center for Conservation Biology and collaborators in the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and NGOs, including the Blue Ribbon Coalition. As an undergraduate at Carleton College in Northfield, MN Lisa majored in Biology and English. She has authored multiple journal articles, magazine stories, book chapters for general audiences, technical reports for the National Parks Conservation Association, science briefs, web content and press releases. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Sean Watts, and son Henry.