American Samoa: A group of islands of SAMOA, in the southwest central Pacific. Its capital is Pago Pago. The islands were ruled by native chiefs until about 1869. An object of American interest beginning in 1839, Pago Pago and trading and extraterritorial rights were granted to the United States in 1878. The United States, Germany, and England administered the islands jointly 1889-99, but in 1899 they were granted to the United States by treaty. The Department of the Interior has administered American Samoa since 1951. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p44)Independent State of Samoa: An island group and constitutional monarchy in the southwest central Pacific Ocean. The capital is Apia. The islands were jointly administered by England, the United States, and Germany 1889-99, with the chief islands of Savai'i and Upolu recognized as German until 1919. Western Samoa gained independence in 1962 and assumed its present formal name in 1997.Samoa: A group of islands in the southwest central Pacific, divided into AMERICAN SAMOA and the INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA (Western Samoa). First European contact was made in 1722 by Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman. In 1768 they were named Navigators Islands by Louis de Bougainville. The present name may derive from that of a local chieftain or from a local word meaning place of the moa, a now-extinct island bird. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1061 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p481)Petrosia: A genus of SPONGES in the family Petrosiidae, characterized by an ectosomal triangular or polygonal reticulation of spicule tracts or single spicules.Ecological Parameter Monitoring: Ongoing collection, analysis, and interpretation of ecological data that is used to assess changes in the components, processes, and overall condition and functioning of an ECOSYSTEM.Diethylcarbamazine: An anthelmintic used primarily as the citrate in the treatment of filariasis, particularly infestations with Wucheria bancrofti or Loa loa.Micronesia: The collective name for islands of the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, including the Mariana, PALAU, Caroline, Marshall, and Kiribati Islands. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p761 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p350)Filariasis: Infections with nematodes of the superfamily FILARIOIDEA. The presence of living worms in the body is mainly asymptomatic but the death of adult worms leads to granulomatous inflammation and permanent fibrosis. Organisms of the genus Elaeophora infect wild elk and domestic sheep causing ischemic necrosis of the brain, blindness, and dermatosis of the face.Palau: A republic consisting of a group of about 100 islands and islets in the western Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Koror. Under Spain it was administered as a part of the Caroline Islands but was sold to Germany in 1899. Seized by Japan in 1914, it was taken by the Allies in World War II in 1944. In 1947 it became part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, became internally self-governing in 1980, obtained independent control over its foreign policy (except defense) in 1986, and achieved total independence October 1, 1994. (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p915; telephone communication with Randy Flynn, Board on Geographic Names, 17 January 1995)Cultural Characteristics: Those aspects or characteristics which identify a culture.Polynesia: The collective name for the islands of the central Pacific Ocean, including the Austral Islands, Cook Islands, Easter Island, HAWAII; NEW ZEALAND; Phoenix Islands, PITCAIRN ISLAND; SAMOA; TONGA; Tuamotu Archipelago, Wake Island, and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Polynesians are of the Caucasoid race, but many are of mixed origin. Polynesia is from the Greek poly, many + nesos, island, with reference to the many islands in the group. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p966 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p426)Medicine, Traditional: Systems of medicine based on cultural beliefs and practices handed down from generation to generation. The concept includes mystical and magical rituals (SPIRITUAL THERAPIES); PHYTOTHERAPY; and other treatments which may not be explained by modern medicine.