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 Massachusetts-Amherst to Host Northeast 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 Massachusetts-Amherst to host the Department of the Interior's Northeast Climate Science Center. He also announced the University of Oklahoma to host the South Central Climate Science Center, and the University of Hawaii-Manoa to host the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.
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 Northeast 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.
Each CSC has a consortium of partners facilitating collaboration across the entire science community and expanding the expertise available to the CSC.
In addition to its University of Massachusetts-Amherst host, for example, the Northeast Climate Science Center has engaged the College of Menominee Nation with its extensive network of tribal nation colleges and its expertise in sustainability. Other consortium partners include Columbia University, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The new Northeast Climate Science Center region contains 22 states, multiple ecoregions, 41 percent of the U.S. population, and 7 of the 22 regions established for the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). The interaction of the CSCs and LCCs is part of Secretary Salazar's department-wide climate change strategy initiated in 2009.
“The members of the Northeast Climate Science Center currently participate in, or are co-located with, a number of the existing LCCs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional offices, NOAA RISA projects, and Science Centers,” said Professor Richard Palmer, scientific director of the new Center. “These interactions increase our ability to effectively interact with potential federal stakeholders.”
The members of the Northeast Climate Science Center are pioneering new analytical and science support tools for landscape scale analyses of climate change effects, and regional conservation networks for developing climate adaptation and mitigation strategies by diverse stakeholders.
Salazar noted that the CSCs will expand climate science capabilities without building new facilities or duplicating existing capabilities.
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.