Topical Stamp Collectors Celebrate: 5 New National Monuments Designated

We were delighted last month by the news that President Obama had designated five new national monuments. Located in Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New Mexico, and Washington, the monuments include historic sites that help tell the story of our shared cultural heritage, as well as natural spaces, now protected for future generations.

The new monuments are:

“These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country,” said President Obama on March 25. “By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come.”

To celebrate the newest additions, we’ve created a (digital) topical collection of related stamps:

Can you match each stamp to the correct national monument? Which stamps would you add to the collection?

Earthscapes Stamps Jigsaw Puzzle: A Perfect Holiday Gift

It’s never too early to shop for the holidays, and we’ve got a great gift idea that the entire family will enjoy.

Piece together a picture of the land we call home with this 500-piece puzzle showcasing the Earthscapes Forever® stamps. The stamps were issued October 1 to kick-off National Stamp Collecting Month. The puzzle features 15 breathtaking images of the American landscape as seen from above.

“Similar to a Cracker Jacks box,” says Stamp Services Manager Stephen Kearney, “the puzzle comes with a ‘prize.’” In this case, the prize is a sheet of 15 Earthscapes Forever® stamps, which, Kearney says, “are selling fast.” Sure to provide hours of entertainment for all ages, the 18 x 24-inch puzzle also makes a wonderful piece of art to frame or display once completed.

Favorite Links of the Week: More buzz for Earthscapes, new Christmas Stamps debut

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for our roundup of stamp stories this week.

Berkeley, California, photographer Barry Rokeach’s stunning work, which was featured on one of the Earthscapes stamps, is detailed by Berkeleyside.

Westport News reports on Westport (Connecticut) Historical Society‘s recently opened exhibit showcasing U.S. postage stamps designed by local artists.

Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Sarah Hughes will help dedicate the Santa and Sleigh (Forever®) stamps tomorrow in New York City.

What were some of your favorite philatelic stories this week?

Mail by Satellite? New Earthscapes Stamps Feature Landsat 7 Images

Two of the fifteen new Earthscapes stamps feature images taken by Landsat 7, a remote-sensing satellite launched in 1999 to study the Earth’s surface.

The “Volcanic crater” stamp on the Earthscapes sheet shows Mount St. Helens and its surrounding area. The volcano’s explosive eruption of May 18, 1980, destroyed more than 200 square miles of forest, leaving behind a barren landscape. Today life is slowly returning to the area.

Acquired by Landsat 7 on September 7, 1999, the image of Mount St. Helens that appears on the stamp shows a recovering ecosystem. Shades of white and gray indicate still-bare slopes; dark “rivers” are deep channels cut by fast-moving flows of hot ash, rock, and gas. Green represents regrowth of vegetation.

The “Center-pivot irrigation stamp” shows circular patterns on cropland near Garden City, Kansas, where center-pivot sprinkler systems have been at work. Red circles indicate healthy, irrigated crops; lighter circles represent harvested crops. Landsat 7 acquired the image on September 25, 2000.

Managed jointly by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Landsat Program has been collecting information about our planet since 1972. For 40 years it has supplied data about the health of our environment and critical changes in natural resources that cannot be observed by the eye alone.

In addition to the scientific information they convey to researchers, Landsat images also can be strikingly gorgeous. “Landsat images make beautiful stamps,” says Doug Martin, a NASA scientist who works with Landsat data.

We couldn’t agree more.

Earthscapes Stamps Kick Off National Stamp Collecting Month

Thank you to everyone who came out to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, this past Monday for the dedication ceremony of the Earthscapes Forever® stamps!

Depicting America’s diverse landscapes on photos taken from ultra lights to satellites, the Earthscapes stamps provide a view of the nation’s diverse landscapes in a whole new way—from heights ranging from several hundred feet above Earth to several hundred miles in space. Each stamp’s unique perspective makes it a window into a world most of us never experience.The photographs on the stamps were all taken high above the planet’s surface, either snapped by orbiting satellites or carefully composed by photographers in aircraft.

“Once you’ve seen the world from above, you never look at it quite the same way again,” U.S. Postal Service Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett said. “That’s why the Postal Service is proud to offer these Earthscapes stamps, which invite us to take a bird’s-eye view of the land we all share.”

Joining Corbett in dedicating the stamps were NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director Christopher Scolese; NASA Landsat Project Scientist Jeff Masek; Earthscapes stamp photographer Cameron Davidson; Smithsonian National Postal Museum Education Director K. Allison Wickens; Linn’s Stamp News Senior Editor-Digital Media Jay Bigalke; and WJLA/ABC-TV Meteorologist Bob Ryan.

“For nearly 50 years, NASA has been at the forefront of looking at Earth from the unique vantage point of space” Scolese said.

NASA uses a fleet of satellites to study Earth and to better understand the changing climate, its interaction with life, and how human activities affect the environment. Through partnerships with national and international agencies, NASA science enables the application of this understanding for the well-being of society.

What a way to kick off National Stamp Collecting Month! We are on cloud nine.