Nat'l Park's Dr. Peter Craig retires
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — The National Park of American Samoa announced the recent retirement of Dr. Peter Craig, who worked in American Samoa for the past 20 years, serving as one of the leading voices for conservation and the environment during his time here.
During the past 15 years he worked for the National Park of American Samoa, first as a Marine Ecologist and later as Natural Resource Manager.
Dr. Craig began his work in American Samoa at the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources. He chose to retire in September and move to Washington State to be closer to his family and continue to work on environmental issues with the National Park Service.
Throughout his time in American Samoa, Craig remained deeply committed to supporting marine and terrestrial conservation efforts.
He authored the “Natural History Guide,” a book that describes the natural resources of American Samoa in simple, interesting terms, with over 20,000 copies distributed across the territory and beyond.
He was equally committed to preserving Samoan culture, especially identifying and emphasizing connections between traditional practices and modern conservation efforts in regards to fishing.
Dr. Craig provided extensive advice and support to many territorial and federal agencies in the territory as they worked on various climate change and conservation efforts. His devotion and passion for the natural resources of the Manu’a Islands is well known.
He was a strong advocate for scientific research, especially in the Ofu lagoons, and is responsible for not only the creation of the NPS Ofu Research Station and seawater system, but for most of the coral reef research completed in Ofu.
Dr. Craig described himself as a fisherman casting a line out into the water trying to attract interest from marine biologists and other researchers. He hooked quite a few. The current Manu’a Ranger stationed in Ofu, Carlo Caruso said, “I was blessed with the chance to spend time on Ofu with Peter before his retirement. I learned a great deal from him and wish he had stayed longer so I might soak up more of his wisdom.”
Superintendent Mike Reynolds says, “Dr. Peter Craig will be missed at the national park and throughout American Samoa, but his writings and lessons will be long remembered.”
Sean Eagan has arrived at the national park as the new resource manager.
He most recently held the same position at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. He brings with him years of experience in both science and management of natural resources in the National Park Service.
“I am excited to begin work in the unique cultural and natural landscape of American Samoa. I hope to contribute positively to the resource management efforts of the national park and I know I will learn a lot as well!” says Eagan. He began work in January, 2012 and will be joined shortly by his wife and two children.
The National Park of American Samoa was established in 1988 to preserve the coral reefs, tropical rainforest, archeological and cultural resources, the habitat of fruit bats, and to provide educational opportunities for visitors and residents. National park lands and waters are leased from villages and the American Samoa Government through a long-term agreement with the National Park Service.