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.
Interior Appoints New Climate Change Advisory Committee
Office of the Secretary
Members to Provide Guidance on Adaptation Science Initiatives
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the members of a newly created federal advisory committee who will provide guidance about the Interior Department's climate change adaptation science initiatives.
“Responding to climate change and its effects on our natural and cultural resources is an important priority for the nation,” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “This committee embodies our commitment to working closely with our partners to strengthen our efforts to develop sound science that will help inform policymakers, land managers and the public in making important resource management decisions.”
Twenty-five committee members were selected from more than 100 nominations received by the Interior Department. Members represent Interior and other federal agencies; tribal, state, and local governments; nongovernmental organizations; academic institutions; and the private sector.
Matthew Larsen, USGS associate director for climate and land-use change, and David Behar, climate program director for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, will co-chair the committee. Members were appointed to two- or three-year terms. The first meeting of the committee is expected to take place this summer. The committee members will provide guidance about the operations of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the eight regional Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers.
“The national center and the eight new regional centers are the hub and spokes of an important Obama Administration initiative to help land managers and others adapt to climate change. Science centers are working hand in glove with landscape conservation cooperatives and delivering information on climate change impacts on water, wildlife and other natural resources to local resource managers,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes. “The Climate Change Advisory Committee will play an important role in the department's climate adaptation strategy by providing advice on critical issues such as science priorities, relations with key partners, ensuring scientific excellence and coordinating with other climate adaptation initiatives.”
The newly appointed members are listed below (alternate members attend when a principal member is unavailable):
Gabriela Chavarria, science advisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alternate: David Patte, senior advisor, Pacific region, FWS
Herbert C. Frost, associate director, natural resource stewardship and science, National Park Service. Alternate: Leigh Welling, director, Climate Change Program, NPS
Matthew Larsen (co-chair), associate director, climate and land use change, U.S. Geological Survey. Alternate, Sarah Ryker, deputy associate director, USGS
William Hohenstein, director, Climate Change Program Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Alternate: David Cleaves, Climate Change advisor to the chief, U.S. Forest Service, USDA
Jeffrey Peterson, senior advisor, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Richard Merrick, chief science advisor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fisheries. Alternate: Adam Parris, Regional Integrated Science and Assessments (RISA) program manager, NOAA
Robert Pietrowski, director, Water Resources Institute, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Alternates: Jeffrey Arnold, senior climate scientist, USACE, and Paul Wagner, senior environmental scientist, USACE
John O'Leary, coordinator, state Wildlife Action Plan, State of Massachusetts and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies NE AFWA). Alternate, Karen Bennett, landscape conservation coordinator, Delawre Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Lynn Helbrecht, climate change coordinator, Department of Fish and Wildlife, State of Washington and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Ed Carter, director, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
John Sullivan, director, Science Services, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Alternate, Karl Martin, chief, Wildlife and Forestry Research Section, Wisconsin DNR
David Behar (co-chair), climate program director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission/Water Utilities Climate Alliance
Noah Matson, vice-president for climate change and natural resources adaptation, Defenders of Wildlife. Alternate: Natalie Dubois, Defenders of Wildlife
Bruce Stein, director, climate adaptation,, National Wildlife Federation. Alternate: Douglas Inkley, National Wildlife Federation
Clifford Duke, director of science programs, Ecological Society of America
Kimberly Hall, Great Lakes climate change ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
Paul Beier, president, Society for Conservation Biology
Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
Lara Hansen, founder, chief scientist and executive director, EcoAdapt
Gary Morishima, technical advisor to the chairman, Quinault Nation
Ann Marie Chischilly, executive director, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
Larry Irwin, research fellow, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. Alternate, Ben Wigley, manager, sustainable forest research, NCASI
Jeffrey Williams, manager, Climate Consulting, Entergy, Inc.
Berrien Moore, vice-president, weather and climate, and director, National Weather Center, University of Oklahoma. Alternate, Paul Risser, chair and chief operating officer, University Research Cabinet, University of Oklahoma
Bradley Udall, director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, University of Colorado. Alternate, Richard Palmer, professor and chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts