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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Palmyra Atoll


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All of the following US Pacific island territories except Midway Atoll constitute the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex and as such are managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the US Department of the Interior. Midway Atoll NWR has been included in a Refuge Complex with the Hawaiian Islands NWR and also designated as part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. These remote refuges are the most widespread collection of marine- and terrestrial-life protected areas on the planet under a single country's jurisdiction. They sustain many endemic species including corals, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, water birds, land birds, insects, and vegetation not found elsewhere. Baker Island: The US took possession of the island in 1857, and its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974. Howland Island: Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the uninhabited atoll was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano deposits until about 1890. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island, similar to the effort on nearby Baker Island, but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The famed American aviatrix Amelia EARHART disappeared while seeking out Howland Island as a refueling stop during her 1937 round-the-world flight; Earhart Light, a day beacon near the middle of the west coast, was named in her memory. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974. Jarvis Island: First discovered by the British in 1821, the uninhabited island was annexed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano had been removed. The UK annexed the island in 1889, but never carried out plans for further exploitation. The US occupied and reclaimed the island in 1935 until it was abandoned in 1942 during World War II. The island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974. Johnston Atoll: Both the US and the Kingdom of Hawaii annexed Johnston Atoll in 1858, but it was the US that mined the guano deposits until the late 1880s. Johnston and Sand Islands were designated wildlife refuges in 1926. The US Navy took over the atoll in 1934, and subsequently the US Air Force assumed control in 1948. The site was used for high-altitude nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, and until late in 2000 the atoll was maintained as a storage and disposal site for chemical weapons. Munitions destruction, cleanup, and closure of the facility was completed by May 2005. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force are currently discussing future management options; in the interim, Johnston Atoll and the three-mile Naval Defensive Sea around it remain under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the US Air Force. Kingman Reef: The US annexed the reef in 1922. Its sheltered lagoon served as a way station for flying boats on Hawaii-to-American Samoa flights during the late 1930s. There are no terrestrial plants on the reef, which is frequently awash, but it does support abundant and diverse marine fauna and flora. In 2001, the waters surrounding the reef out to 12 nm were designated a US National Wildlife Refuge. Midway Islands: The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a National Wildlife Refuge and are the site of the world's largest Laysan albatross colony. Palmyra Atoll: The Kingdom of Hawaii claimed the atoll in 1862, and the US included it among the Hawaiian Islands when it annexed the archipelago in 1898. The Hawaii Statehood Act of 1959 did not include Palmyra Atoll, which is now partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest owned by the Federal government and managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These organizations are managing the atoll as a wildlife refuge. The lagoons and surrounding waters within the 12 nm US territorial seas were transferred to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and designated as a National Wildlife Refuge in January 2001. (from the CIA)
 
 

 

Economic Overview

No economic activity

Environmental Issues

Baker, howland, and jarvis islands, and johnston atoll: no natural fresh water resources kingman reef: none midway islands and palmyra atoll: na

Population

No indigenous inhabitants note: public entry is by special-use permit from us fish and wildlife service only and generally restricted to scientists and educators; visited annually by us fish and wildlife service johnston atoll: in previous years, an average of 1,100 us military and civilian contractor personnel were present; as of may 2005 all us government personnel had left the island midway islands: approximately 40 people make up the staff of us fish and wildlife service and their services contractor living at the atoll palmyra atoll: four to 20 nature conservancy, us fish and wildlife staff, and researchers

Location

Oceania baker island: atoll in the north pacific ocean 1,830 nm (3,389 km) southwest of honolulu, about half way between hawaii and australia howland island: island in the north pacific ocean 1,815 nm (3,361 km) southwest of honolulu, about half way between hawaii and australia jarvis island: island in the south pacific ocean 1,305 nm (2,417 km) south of honolulu, about half way between hawaii and cook islands johnston atoll: atoll in the north pacific ocean 717 nm (1,328 km) southwest of honolulu, about one-third of the way from hawaii to the marshall islands kingman reef: reef in the north pacific ocean 930 nm (1,722 km) south of honolulu, about half way between hawaii and american samoa midway islands: atoll in the north pacific ocean 1,260 nm (2,334 km) northwest of honolulu near the end of the hawaiian archipelago, about one-third of the way from honolulu to tokyo palmyra atoll: atoll in the north pacific ocean 960 nm (1,778 km) south of honolulu, about half way between hawaii and american samoa

Area

Total - 6,959.41 sq km; emergent land - 22.41 sq km; submerged - 6,937 sq km baker island: total - 129.1 sq km; emergent land - 2.1 sq km; submerged - 127 sq km howland island: total - 138.6 sq km; emergent land - 2.6 sq km; submerged - 136 sq km jarvis island: total - 152 sq km; emergent land - 5 sq km; submerged - 147 sq km johnston atoll: total - 276.6 sq km; emergent land - 2.6 sq km; submerged - 274 sq km kingman reef: total - 1,958.01 sq km; emergent land - 0.01 sq km; submerged - 1,958 sq km midway islands: total - 2,355.2 sq km; emergent land - 6.2 sq km; submerged - 2,349 sq km palmyra atoll: total - 1,949.9 sq km; emergent land - 3.9 sq km; submerged - 1,946 sq km

Baker island: about two and a half times the size of the mall in washington, dc howland island: about three times the size of the mall in washington, dc jarvis island: about eight times the size of the mall in washington, dc johnston atoll: about four and a half times the size of the mall in washington, dc kingman reef: a little more than one and a half times the size of the mall in washington, dc midway islands: about nine times the size of the mall in washington, dc palmyra atoll: about 20 times the size of the mall in washington, dc

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: none conventional short form: baker island; howland island; jarvis island; johnston atoll; kingman reef; midway islands; palmyra atoll

International Disputes

None

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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