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 attacks of September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, and the continued threat of terrorism has mandated the development of a cadre of professionals across the government who possess a broad understanding of our Nation's national security objectives beyond their own agency's missions. The National Security Professional Development (NSPD) Program ensures current and future professionals in national security positions possess the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to lead and execute coordinated, effective national security operations.
The Department of the Interior is one of seventeen federal agencies participating in the NSPD. The Department has indentified SES and GS 13-15 employees responsible for becoming National Security Professionals (NSP) to help carry out the goals of the NSPD Program.
The goal of the NSPD is to ensure that national security professionals:
Better understand partner organizational objectives and mission requirements, interdependencies and synergies between the public and private sectors, and different organizational cultures
Transcend organizations, levels of government, missions, and specific national security disciplines
Improve their overall capability to safeguard national security in a dynamic risk environment