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.
USGS -- Developing a better method for diagnosing avian botulism
Avian botulism is a paralytic disease caused by one of the deadliest toxins known to mankind. It is produced by a naturally occurring bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and when environmental conditions cause the toxin to accumulate in their food supply, botulism can kill thousands of birds each year. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, the USGS, through its National Wildlife Health Center Diagnostic Microbiology Laboratory, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is developing a rapid method for detecting a Type E avian botulism that causes mortality in fish-eating birds. This method uses a fluorescence-based bioassay and would potentially eliminate the need to use laboratory animals in mouse lethality assays. The new assay method will also be less labor intensive and faster so it will facilitate analysis of the large number of samples required to conduct meaningful ecological studies. This method may also have applications for human health since Type E botulism can occur in humans following consumption of improperly prepared fish.