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 of the Interior Appoints 13 Members to National Geospatial Advisory Committee
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed 13 professionals to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and advice on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
The NSDI promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community.
"We are pleased to welcome this distinguished set of new members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee,” said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, who serves as Chair of the FGDC. “The NGAC's inclusion of a broad range of perspectives, governmental, tribal, private sector, and academic, enables it to provide valuable advice to federal agencies on the most pressing geospatial issues, and helps us make better progress toward our goal of seamless integration and accessibility of geospatial data.”
Secretary Salazar also appointed Dr. Robert Austin, Enterprise Applications Integration Manager for the City of Tampa, Florida, to serve as the Chair of the NGAC. The NGAC includes up to 30 members, selected to generally achieve a balanced representation of the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology. NGAC members are appointed to serve staggered terms on the committee. The new appointees to three-year terms on the NGAC are:
Dr. Robert F. Austin, City of Tampa, FL, Chair (reappointed to a second term)
Mr. Talbot J. Brooks, Delta State University, MS
Dr. Keith Clarke, University of California, Santa Barbara
Mr. Steve Coast, Microsoft Corporation
Mr. David DiSera, EMA, Inc. (reappointed to a second term)
Mr. Matthew Gentile, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, LLP
Mr. Frank Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Mr. Michael Jones, Google, Inc.
Mr. Jack H. Maguire, County of Lexington, SC
Dr. Carolyn J. Merry, The Ohio State University
Mr. Roger Mitchell, MDA Information Systems, Inc.
Dr. Michele Motsko, U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Dr. Douglas Richardson, Association of American Geographers
The members of the NGAC report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in Federal geospatial programs.
The NGAC meets three to four times per year. The public is invited to comment and make suggestions at all committee meetings, which will be announced by publication in the Federal Register at least 15 days before the meeting date. The U.S. Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, provides support services for the NGAC. The NGAC functions solely as an advisory body.
The NGAC was created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, enacted by Congress in 1972 to ensure that advice rendered to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions formed by Congress and the President, be both objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies.
Additional information about the NGAC, including a complete list of the committee members, is available at www.fgdc.gov/ngac.