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.
Salazar Applauds President's Nomination of Marcilynn Burke for Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama's intent to nominate Marcilynn A. Burke to be the next Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.
“Marcilynn's natural resource expertise and experience will help us continue to safely and responsibly expand American energy development while protecting the land, water, and wildlife with which we are entrusted,” Salazar said. “Her common sense approach to solving problems is just the type of leadership our nation needs and it is why she has earned the respect of such a wide range of people with whom she has worked over her career.”
Marcilynn A. Burke
If confirmed by the Senate, Burke would assume the position vacated by Wilma Lewis, who was nominated by President Obama for a judgeship in the District Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands, confirmed by the Senate and sworn in.
Burke has served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management since July 29, 2011, when she was designated by President Obama. The Assistant Secretary provides oversight to the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and oversees management of public lands and resources, including production of federal energy and mineral resources, both onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf.
The four agencies the Assistant Secretary oversees have a total of more than 12,000 employees and are stewards of vast and diverse public resources. They provide appropriate management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, as well as the appropriate regulation of surface coal mining. The geographic scope of these activities is considerable, encompassing the continental United States and large parts of Alaska.
Before being named the Acting Assistant Secretary, Burke served as the Bureau of Land Management's Deputy Director for Programs and Policy, where she worked on reducing conflicts surrounding energy development, improving certainty for industry, and encouraging the balanced use of public lands.
Burke came to the Bureau of Land Management from the University of Houston Law Center in Texas, where, as a tenured Associate Professor of Law, she taught courses in property law, land use law, and laws governing the management of federal lands/natural resources.
At the University of Houston Law Center, Burke also served as one of the co-directors for the Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources. She has also taught, as visiting assistant professor of law, at the Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey, and at Seattle University School of Law.
Burke previously practiced law with the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in Washington, D.C., where she focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation. Upon graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Burke received her bachelor's degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She obtained her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law.
Burke is a member of several professional organizations, including the Association of American Law Schools, American Bar Association, Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and New York State Bar Association.