John Whetten  Lopez Island

John is a geologist, and while on the faculty of the University of Washington, he began a project to map the geology of the San Juan Islands under the sponsorship of the U.S. Geological Survey. John and his wife, Carol, had built a small cabin on Lopez Island, and John’s work gave his family a good excuse to spend time in the islands, while John developed geologic insights applying the newly developed paradigm of plate tectonics to this extraordinary area.

John, Carol, and their three daughters moved to New Mexico in 1980, where John took a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory. For 15 years, the family’s visits to the San Juans were infrequent, but in 1997 they moved to Lopez Island full-time. They made their small cabin a small home. During the winters, they escape by becoming ski bums in Park City, Utah, where they both work part-time at Deer Valley Resort.

During the time John and Carol have known the San Juan Islands, there have been many changes. Development has taken over some of the places they used to roam. That’s why they support SJPT’s mission of preserving and protecting the islands’ most critical areas, and John is happy to be part of that effort.