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.
Readout from Department of the Interior's Federal Alaska Science Workshop
Policy Management and Budget
The Department of the Interior today hosted an Alaska science workshop, bringing together top federal policymakers and members of the federal government's science community to discuss how to facilitate the delivery of relevant scientific information to officials responsible for making decisions related to energy development in Alaska.
Led by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, today's meeting reflects a commitment to ensuring that decisions about the nation's domestic energy resources in Alaska are being made based on the best available science. The meeting was organized as part of the activities of the high-level federal interagency working group established in July by President Obama to coordinate energy development in Alaska and chaired by Deputy Secretary Hayes.
“Alaska's energy resources – onshore and offshore, conventional and renewable - hold great promise and economic opportunity for the people of Alaska and across the nation,” said Deputy Secretary Hayes. “We know that a ‘one-size-fits-all' approach doesn't work when it comes to Alaska, and we will continue to pursue sound, science-based decisions about the safe and responsible development of Alaska's energy resources.”
Other meeting participants included high-level officials and scientists from the Department of Interior including Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy P. Beaudreau, as well as from the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Executive Office of the President. Also participating were senior representatives from the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.
The discussion focused on issues relating to energy and infrastructure development in Alaska, the types of scientific information that is needed to support decisions in this area, and the best ways to improve communication between decision-makers and the scientific community.
This dialogue is part of the Administration's commitment to continuing the expansion of safe and responsible production of our domestic resources.