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.
The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program (external link) is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago, the Program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential Federal Government leaders. Here are some key provisions of thePMF Program.
Individuals who have completed within the past two years, a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree).
An individual may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as he or she meets the eligibility criteria. However, if an individual becomes a Finalist and subsequently applies for the PMF Program during the next open announcement, the individual will forfeit his or her status as a Finalist.
The PMF Program is centrally administered by the PMF Program Office within OPM.
OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program (usually in the late summer or early fall).
Applicants go through a rigorous assessment process to determine Finalists.
OPM selects Finalists based on an evaluation of each candidate's experience and accomplishments according to his or her application and results of the assessments.
OPM publishes and provides agencies with the list of Finalists.
Agencies provide OPM with information about their PMF opportunities and can post PMF appointment opportunities for those who are Finalists on the PMF website year-round. In addition, a job fair is typically held for Finalists each year.
Finalists who obtain an appointment as a PMF serve in a two-year excepted service position.
Training and Development
The PMF Program Office provides newly hired PMFs an opportunity to participate in its Orientation and Training Program.
Senior-level mentorship throughout the program.
Individual Development Plan to create and track a PMF's career planning, professional development, and training activities.
Developmental opportunities in the occupation or functional discipline the PMF would most likely be placed.
At least 80 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program, for a total of 160 hours.
PMFs are placed on a performance plan and must obtain a successful rating each year.
After Program Completion
After successful Program completion and job performance, the PMF may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 yearsin the competitive service.