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.
Conflicts of Interest. Federal employees should be aware that it is important to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest in our daily dealings with our partners. The goal is to separate partnership efforts enough from other business processes that a conflict of interest is avoided. It should never appear that the partnership relationship gives either party inappropriate benefit. Conflict of interest guidelines are applied through regulatory restrictions and criminal statutes. These guidelines protect employees from the appearance of a conflict of interest or impropriety.
Thorough Understanding of Ethics Laws/Regulations. Employees engaged in partnership activities must have a thorough understanding of the ethics laws and regulations in order to identify potential issues of concern in the development and implementation of the partnership.
Gray Areas. There may be "gray areas" in any ethics inquiry -- the statutes and regulations do not always create bright-line tests. By being familiar with these restrictions, employees and partners will be better able to ask the hard questions that must be asked, anticipate potential problems, and take steps to avoid ethics violations or the appearance of a violation.