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.
USGS contributes to assessment of Biodiversity Loss and its Impact on Humanity
Last edited 4/26/2016
Marking 20 years since the “Rio Earth Summit,” a diverse team of the world's experts on the contributions of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning released a synthesis report in Nature Magazine on June 7, 2012. Led by Bradley Cardinale of the University Michigan and contributed to by James Grace of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, the assessment team worked hard to hammer out a consensus statement based on the review of over 600 ecological studies conducted over the past two decades. The motivation for achieving a consensus statement was the substantial controversy that has surrounded this topic regarding methodology and inference. Publication of this review article is timely, as international leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro June 20 – 22, 2012, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 Conference.