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 Department of the Interior's Office of Policy Analysis is a key resource for objective, bureau-neutral, Department-wide policy analysis, economic analysis, and program coordination. This cross-cutting role in the Office of the Secretary helps promote cohesive, consistent, and effective Departmental policies. Work products are of excellent quality and considered to be accurate and reliable; leadership for program coordination is highly professional, experienced and collaborative. This Office provides the analysis, expertise, and long-term vision to inform the Department's decision-making about our Nation's natural and cultural resources now and into the future.
The Office of Policy Analysis (PPA) provides cross-cutting analysis and coordination to support decision-making and policies across a highly decentralized agency. PPA provides expertise and leadership to evaluate Departmental programs, develop and coordinate new programs, conduct studies of policies and programs, and conduct relevant economic analyses. PPA coordinates and guides inter-agency and multi-bureau program development and policy analysis tasks, and undertakes issue analysis and decision documents on behalf of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget (the official responsible for oversight of PPA). The Office also coordinates the Department's activities related to invasive species, tribal water settlements, and ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource management.
Ensure that PPA is recognized, both within and outside the Department, as a resource for high-quality, accurate and reliable economic and policy analysis
Ensure that PPA products and analyses are made available to Departmental leaders in support of key decision-making processes
Proactively identify topics and undertake analyses, as requested, for the AS/PMB that provide leaders with insight into trends and emerging issues that will have a significant effect upon Departmental resources and responsibilities into the future
Serve as a key resource for bureau-neutral, objective program coordination and program review
The Office of Policy Analysis embraces the following set of core values associated with its analysis, work products, staff, professional relationships, and coordination activities:
PPA work products are based on objective analysis, responsive to decision makers' needs, free of bias and bureau-neutral, well-written, and intellectually honest. Neutral competency is essential to the integrity of the office.
PPA staff are held to high standards and have the ability to approach work assignments in an analytic, systematic, and task-oriented fashion. They are able to work independently or as part of a team, can handle multiple assignments simultaneously, and are able to proactively respond to emerging issues.
The PPA leadership team believes in a level playing field for all staff and ensures that staff members are valued and recognized for their contributions. They provide staff members with short- and long-term opportunities to strengthen their intellectual capital both through work assignments and training; they seek cognitive diversity and provide an open, interactive work environment to facilitate the free exchange of ideas; they mentor junior staff with an eye to developing the leaders of the future, and in general endeavor to establish an office that is seen as a good career move for emerging leaders.
PPA leadership and staff are encouraged to develop productive professional relationships both within and external to the office, including but not limited to engaging in collaborative work with the bureaus, other DOI offices, other government agencies, and academia.