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.
Secretary Salazar Names University of Hawaii-Manoa to Host Pacific Islands Climate Science Center
Office of the Secretary
Completes Interior's Nationwide Network of Eight Regional Centers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the selection of the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu to host the Department of the Interior's Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (CSC), with the University of Hawaii-Hilo and the University of Guam as consortium partners. He also announced that the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will host the Northeast CSC and the University of Oklahoma the South Central CSC.
The three locations complete the national network of eight CSCs that will serve to provide land managers in federal, state and local agencies access to the best science available regarding climate change and other landscape-scale stressors.
“The Pacific Islands center and other Climate Science Centers will provide the scientific talent and commitment necessary for understanding how climate change and other landscape stressors will change the face of the United States, and how the Department of the Interior, as our nation's chief steward of natural and cultural resources, can prepare and respond,” said Secretary Salazar.
The Pacific Islands CSC will focus on advancing the science of climate change in U.S. jurisdictions in the Pacific including Hawaii; the territories of American Samoa and Guam; the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Republic of the Marshall Islands; Republic of Palau; and Federated States of Micronesia.
Pacific islands are especially vulnerable to climate change because of their relative isolation and dependence on ocean transport for most resources. By contributing to changes in water cycle processes, weather patterns, ocean conditions, and sea-level rise, scientists report that climate change and other landscape-scale stressors in the islands threatens commerce and sustainability.
Faculty members at the three Pacific Islands CSC institutions are engaged in research across the full range of physical, biological, and social impacts of climate change. Recent work includes research on the causes and prediction of climate variability and change, sea-level rise, and responses of terrestrial and marine ecosystems to these changes.
Salazar noted that the CSCs will expand climate science capabilities without building new facilities or duplicating existing capabilities.
The scientific priorities and agendas of each CSC will be decided in consultation with the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) in their respective regions - which are also part of the department's coordinated climate change strategy - as well as with other scientists and land managers. The nationwide network of LCCs engages federal agencies, local and state partners, and the public in crafting practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate change and other landscape-scale stressors impacting the nation's natural and cultural resources.
The CSCs will serve as regional hubs of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, located at the headquarters of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey. USGS is taking the lead on establishing the CSCs and providing initial staffing. Together, Interior's CSCs and LCCs will assess the impacts of climate change and other landscape-scale stressors that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit and will identify strategies to ensure that resources across landscapes are resilient.