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.
This collage features some of those in Indian Affairs who have shown their commitment toward FBMS throughout the deployment. (From top, left to right: Michael Sciortino (FBMS lead) at IA's Albuquerque FBMS Road Show; Rocky Mountain planning session; Albuquerque Road Show audience; Stanley Speaks kicking off the Road Show; Northwest Regional Office celebrating the end of FFS; and FBMS logo.)
On Nov. 5, 2012, after 18 months of deployment preparations, the Financial and Business Management System went live at Indian Affairs (Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education). FBMS is one of the largest information technology system deployment projects currently underway in the federal government and the largest ever to be undertaken by the Department of the Interior and IA. IA's FBMS deployment is the seventh of eight DOI FBMS deployments.
Many of us may look at FBMS as a large IT system that simply manages the inner workings of the department. But FBMS is much more than that. At IA, FBMS will help us serve our 566 tribes and native communities better than ever before, a community of more than 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. Whether is it ensuring 42,000 children receive their school books and supplies on time or that the roads and bridges across 55 million acres of land are safe and regularly maintained, FBMS is a “people focused initiative” that will help IA more efficiently and effectively meet mission requirements.
IA's successful on-time launch of FBMS was made possible by IA employees who recognized the importance of change and came together to overcome complex — sometimes daunting — business challenges. More than 300 IA employees, including supervisors and managers, subject-matter experts and representatives of IA programs, offices, and regions, from across the country worked tirelessly, including many nights and weekends, to ensure IA business requirements were incorporated into the new system. This article contains a collage of just some of those in IA who have shown their commitment toward FBMS throughout the deployment.
There is still a lot to be done over the weeks and months ahead, but the significance of this milestone should not be understated. On behalf of the department, we send a big thank you to everyone at IA for helping make FBMS a success.