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.
Beginning on Monday, March 25, for four months, Dr. David Helweg will serve as the Interim Director of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PI CSC). Dr. Helweg's background is in behavioral and ecologic research, and he worked on marine issues on the West Coast, Hawaii, Tonga, and New Zealand before coming to the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC) in 2002 to serve as the Deputy Director. He received his doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Bachelors from Amherst College. A primary focus of Dr. Helweg's work will be on developing a strategic science focus for the PI CSC, in concert with key partners such as the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC) and federal, state, local and other conservation and management partners.