Category Archives: Lectures

“A Life on the Edge: Mountaineers Jim Whittaker & Leif Whittaker”, Saturday, February 25th, 2017, 7PM, LCCA

Photo by Ira Spring

In May of 1963 Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker stepped into world history by becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. He was also part of the first American team to summit K2 and fifty years later, he is still regarded highly for his mountaineering, as one of the founders of the outdoor recreation industry, and as a keynote speaker. Jim Whittaker’s son Leif Whittaker reached his first summit when he was 15 years old and since has climbed many of the world’s tallest mountains including Aconacagua, Mount Vinson and Mount Everest twice. He is a passionate mountaineer as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast. His writing and photography has appeared in Powder, Backcountry and The Ski Journal. His first book “My Old Man and the Mountain” was published October of 2016. He is a Climbing Ranger for the US Forest Service. Both Leif Whittaker’s book “My Old Man the Mountain” and Jim Whittaker’s book “A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond” will be available for sale/signing at the event.

This remarkable event launches the Lopez Library’s winter/spring series “Beyond Limits” which celebrates the library’s extensive collection of books on adventure and exploration. The series will also feature World Kayaker Nigel Foster discussing his book “On Polar Tides”, two remarkable kayak trips to north Labrador/Hudson Strait dodging polar bears, storms & calving icebergs; RAAM-Race Across America, a bike race more rugged than the Tour de France & one of the ultra-endurance events held each year (premiering on the Center’s big screen, their new documentary just in time for the Tour de Lopez); Seattle trekking company Mountain Madness discussing their 32 year history & the pursuit of the 7 Summits (Mountain Madness as featured in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller “Into Thin Air”); and our own local climber Gregg Blomberg discussing the first winter ascent of Mt. McKinley in 1967. This exciting series is designed to lift the Lopez community through the last stretch of winter. Presented to you by Friends of the Lopez Library & the Ramsey Shirk Fund. For more information contact Jen Krajack at the Lopez Library 468-2265

Free tech training classes for 2017

Ten free classes will be held in the library throughout the coming year to promote technological confidence and best practices within our San Juan Islands community. Led by Steve Wambsganss and Gene Nery, these Rock Tech Seminars are two-hour lectures open to everyone and free to the public. They will be available every week on each of San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands throughout 2017.
The first hour consists of a broad and informal presentation on a variety of topics dealing with personal technology. The remaining hour is dedicated to questions and answers from the participants. At present,we have just over ten seminars to offer, with more on the way as the needs of the community and participants are gauged.
These free seminars are not intended to provide in-depth study or hands-on assistance on each of the topics or issues specific to each of the participants’ devices. Instead, the seminars will be presented in such a way as to de-mystify the topics and provide a wide range of solutions to a broad audience at varying levels of technological understanding. Participants requiring hands-on assistance or specific classes will be given the opportunity to book time with our facilitators separately. In these seminars, we will not be able to solve everyone’s problems or even provide answers to everyone’s
questions, but we do hope to provide the community with a fundamental and basic resource in a fun and relaxed way.

Friday Harbor – Monday, Feb 13, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 14, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday Feb 17, 10:30am-12:30pm
In this interactive seminar, we will work together with the participants to define and break down the
confusing terminology that arises in our everyday lives. We will also demonstrate and provide resources for
participants to find out information on their own. Our goal is for the participants to feel more confident when
seeking assistance and not to be afraid to require those helping them to speak in a language they can

Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 21, 10am-noon
Friday Harbor – Wednesday, Feb 22, 11:30am-1:30pm
Lopez Island – Thursday, Feb 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
There are so many cables and connectors in use today, that connecting devices can be a nightmare. In
this seminar, we will endeavor to de-mystify a few of the most common past and current cables,
connectors and ports they are likely to show up in our day-to-day lives. This includes cables and ports
related to:
• Computers
• Printers
• Televisions
• Mobile devices
• Other peripheral devices the participants may present

Computer Basics
Friday Harbor – Monday, Feb 27, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Feb 28, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 3, 11am-1pm
Computers are becoming more and more part of our day to day lives, and the technology seems to change
on a daily basis. So, how does one even get started? In this seminar, we will very briefly look at the
modern history of the personal computer, where we have been and where we are now. The purpose of the
course is to provide a clear, foundational place from which to confidently start. We will demonstrate
resources participants can use to become more confident in the technology they currently possess and
how to make wise decisions in their future purchases. Topics may include:
• Computer and technical terms
• Storage vs. Memory
• Files and folders
• Understanding the desktop
• Using a mouse or trackpad
• Helpful tutorials and resources
• Why is a backup important? Online vs external drive?

Remote Control Basics
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 6, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 7, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Thursday, Mar 9, 10:30am-12:30pm
Every device we purchase these days seems to come with a remote control, and each of them seems to
do things in a different way. In this seminar, we will look at a brief history of the remote control, how they
work and how to manage them. Topics may include:
• What do all the buttons mean?
• Best practices when using remote controls
• How to set up a remote control
• Universal remotes: benefits and challenges
• The differences between Infrared, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi remotes
• Where to look for help?

The Online Life, Part 1: Connecting to the Internet
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 13, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 14, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 17, 10:30am-12:30pm
In just a few years the internet went from being a novelty, to a useful tool, to a necessity of everyday life.
Everything from our information, to the way our refrigerator works can (and is slowly evolving to “must”) be
controlled using the internet. This seminar will provide a very brief history of the internet, demystify some of
the terminology, and provide insights into connecting to the internet. Topics may include:
• Where did it come from and where is it leading?
• What is DSL, Fiber and LTE?
• What is Wi-Fi?
• What is Bluetooth?
• What is a “network”?
• How smart are our “Smart” devices?
• What is a “Smart Home” and what are the requirements?

The Online Life, Part 2: Using the Internet
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 20, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 21, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Thursday, Mar 23, 10:30am-12:30pm
As a follow-up to the previous seminar, this seminar will provide an understanding of how the internet
works, how to make the best use of it, and how to be as safe as possible while using it. Topics may
• Wading through the terminology? What does it all mean?
• Understanding websites
• Understanding links and popups
• Streaming content vs broadcast television
• Online shopping and financial security
• My life is controlled by passwords (Part 1): Understanding why we got so trapped and how to untangle
the web?
8. The Online LifePart 3: Computer and Online Security
Friday Harbor – Monday, Mar 27, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Mar 28, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Mar 31, 10:30am-12:30pm
In seminar 3 of the series, The Online Life, we will look at what internet security means. We will revisit the
concept of personal security and attempt to separate the truth from the hype. Topics may include:
• What are Viruses?
• What is Malware?
• What is “Scareware”?
• What is actually bad and what is hype?
• How to protect myself, my family and my business?
• My life is controlled by passwords (Part 2): Password management and helpful solutions?

The Online Life, Part 4: Cloud Computing
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 3, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 4, Noon-2pm
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 7, 11am-1pm
In the final seminar of the four-part series, The Online Life, we will look at “The Cloud”. We hear about it
every day – but what does it all mean, and is the information I’m storing truly secure? Furthermore, as we
add more features, the costs can become more and more prohibitive. So, we will look at ways to identify
what our needs actually are, in the hopes of making effective and efficient use of our resources.
• What is the “Cloud”
• What are the requirements?
• Is it secure?
• What are the benefits?
• What are the drawbacks?
• Free or paid services?
• What are my actual needs?

Smart Phones and Tablets
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 10, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 11, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 14, 10:30am-12:30pm
With the release of the first iPhone just under ten years ago, a revolution took place in how we
communicate with each other, how we receive and process information and how we entertain ourselves. In
this seminar, we will look at some of the various devices on the market, the pros and cons to the different
operating systems and a quick look at the ways, benefits and costs involved in syncing our photos and
• Apple, Android and everything in between
• Smart phones
• Tablets
• Mobile device vs a laptop
• Basic concepts in syncing your photos, videos, music and contacts
• Managing limited space

Smart Televisions
Friday Harbor – Monday, Apr 17, 10am-noon
Orcas Island – Tuesday, Apr 18, 10am-noon
Lopez Island – Friday, Apr 21, 10:30am-12:30pm
“Smart” televisions are all the rage these days, but with all the choices out there, which one do I choose?
The prices range from ridiculously cheap to incredibly expensive. In this seminar, we will look at the what
all the lingo means, how to assess our needs, make wise choices when purchasing and what to do when I
get the monstrosity home.
• Why do Smart TVs make me feel so dumb
• Deciphering and using TV remote controls
• Changing inputs on the TV
• Connecting devices to the TV
• Obscure settings and what to ignore
• 4K, 5K, 1080p … what does it all mean?

More to come throughout 2017!



Sharing the Skies Through Navajo Eyes-Dr. Nancy Maryboy of the Indigenous Peoples Institute; Mon. Nov. 21st, 7PM, LCCA


Coyote Tossing the Stars

The Lopez Island Library and the San Juan Islands National Monument are proud to present a beautiful and unique evening celebrating the night sky with Dr. Nancy Maryboy of the Indigenous Peoples Institute. The event is held in recognition of National Native American Heritage Month. Indigenous astronomy is significantly different from western astronomy. In her presentation Dr. Maryboy will discuss the foundations of Navajo astronomy and explore the patterns and cycles of Navajo constellations, sun and moon with images from the Hubble Telescope as backdrop.  Based on 25 years of living on the Navajo Nation and years of direct sky observations, dialogues with medicine people and other family members, as well as working with planetariums and astronomers, Dr. Maryboy has developed a program for all audiences. She is Navajo and Cherokee and has a PhD in Indigenous Science with a focus on native astronomy. She works with NASA and the National Science Foundation, is President of the Indigenous Education Institute and is pleased to share her work with Lopez Island during November, Native American Heritage month. Photographer Chris Teren will also share his breathtaking images of the Northern Lights.  Following the program, weather permitting, the event will feature star gazing with Dr. Maryboy on the lawn of LCCA.  We encourage you to bring your own telescope or share with others.  Hot drinks will be provided. Sharing the Skies Through Navajo Eyes is funded by NASA and UC Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory, Multiverse, the Indigenous Education Institute, the Lopez Island Library and the San Juan Islands National Monument. For more information contact Jen Krajack at Lopez Island Library 468-2265.




Era of Megafires: Megafires are an island issue! Wed., Oct. 5, 6:00PM Woodmen Hall

close-up of bright and hot fire

Megafires are an island issue!

San Juan County Fire District 4, San Juan Islands National Monument, LCLT, Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce,  San Juan County Land Bank & the Lopez Island Library are co-sponsoring a critical program we encourage the community to attend.  This program is presented by the Wildfire Project a community effort to educate people and hopefully shift societal views regarding wildfires.  The current state of wildfires throughout the West is catastrophic and the Wildfire Project’s objective is to encourage a better conversation about solutions through educaiton, community action & policy change.  The program is a 60-minute, multimedia traveling presentation hosted by Dr. Paul Hessburg who has 27 years of experience conducting fire & landscape ecology research around the Pacific Northwest.  Following the program there will be a Q&A with Fire Chief Jim Ghiglione & BLM Fire Management Officer Richard Parrish.

Seas of Change: Marine Birds as Sentinels of a Warming Ocean with Professor Julia K. Parrish; Fri., Sept. 23-7:00PM, Lopez Library


Executive Director of COASST, Julia K. Parrish

As part of National Public Lands Day Lopez Island presents Day for the Bay.  This year’s focus is the Migratory Birds Centennnial.  In conjunction with the centennial, COASST, San Juan County Land Bank, KWIAHT, San Juan Islands National Monument and the Lopez Island Library proudly host Executive Director of the Coastal Observation & Seabird Survey Team Julia K. Parrish.

In 2009, thousands of Surf Scoters washed ashore along the outer coast of Washington.  In 2014, tens of thousands of Cassin’s Auklets littered beaches from Haida Gwaii in British Columbia south to Newport, Oregon.  In 2015, hundreds of thousands of beach-cast Common Murres were found from California north to the Gulf of Alaska.  And in 2016, thousands of Rhinoceros Auklets died in the Salish Sea. Is the coastal ecosystem collapsing?


In fact, how likely is it that you will find a beached bird on your favorite beach?  And if you do, is that unusual?  What killed it?  Should you worry?  Julia Parrish wondered all of those questions almost 20 years ago when she created the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, or COASST.  Stretching from Mendocino north to Kotzebue, COASST is now the largest beached bird program in the world any way you measure it.  With more than 75,000 birds found and counting, COASSTers discover the patterns that define normal annual signals –  the pulse of exhausted breeders and lost chicks after the breeding season, the pulse of over-wintering migrants caught in the first storms of Fall ­ the natural history of dead birds.  And with this almanac, COASST data have been used to assess the impacts of a changing climate, document harmful algal blooms, measure fishery interactions, monitor for avian influenza, and help understand how ancient coastal peoples survived.



Julia K. Parrish is a Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Professor of Ocean Fishery Sciences, and the Associate Dean of the College of the Environment, at the University of Washington.  She is also the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a citizen science program involving over 800 participants collecting monthly data on the identity and abundance of beach-cast birds, with the goal of creating the definitive baseline against which the impacts of any near-shore catastrophe, from an oil spill to an algal bloom, could be measured.  Most recently, she has turned her attention to marine debris, and how citizens can document what washes up where and how wildlife is impacted.  Julia has been honored as a NOAA Year of the Oceans Environmental Hero, and received a Champions of Change award at The White House, both for her leadership of COASST.

Author Linda Brainerd Book Launch “Emmy and the Maw of Time”, Sat. July 16th 3-4PM Lopez Library


Emmy and the Maw of Time

The Lopez Island Library is proud to host a book launch for local author Linda Brainerd.  Linda will read from her new book “Emmy and the Maw of Time, A Girl’s Life from the 40’s and 50’s” and discuss the book’s process. Join us as we celebrate the release of this terrific memoir with the reading and a reception following. Books and author signing available at the program.

Award Winning Author Thor Hanson-Two Programs! Saturday, June 18th, Children’s Program 4PM, Lopez Library, “The Triumph of Seeds” 7 PM, Woodmen Hall

Thor Hanson Seeds Book Image

The Triumph of Seeds

The Triumph of Seeds: An Evening with Dr.Thor Hanson, Saturday June 18th, 7:00 PM at Woodmen Hall.  The author will read from his award-winning book and discuss.  The Lopez Bookshop will have the book  available for sale and signing following the program.






BartholemewQuillSaturday, June 18th, 4:00 PM in the Lopez Island Library. Thor Hanson reads his new children’s book Bartholomew Quill: A Crow’s Quest to Know Who’s Who to kids of all ages. (Adults welcome too!) Tour the animal kingdom from a crow’s point of view in this whimsical mix of science and poetry. The rhyming story and beautiful illustrations of Pacific Northwest wildlife are featured in this wonderful children’s book.  The Lopez Bookshop will have the book available for sale and signing following the program.

The Lopez Island Library is proud to present two programs featuring award winning author Thor Hanson. The Triumph of Seeds won the 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award and was a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize.  His prior book Feathers won the John Burroughs Medal, the AAAS/Subaru SB&F PrizePacific Northwest Book Award, and it was nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Washington State Book Award. His new illustrated children’s book Bartholomew Quill has become an instant classic.Other books include The Impenetrable Forest , and contributions to Wilderness Comes Home, What to Read in the Rain, and One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including AudubonBBC Wildlife, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe,The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, The Journal of African Ecology, and The Huffington Post.

Hanson’s research and conservation activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, where he helped establish the mountain gorilla tourism program in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and he has also helped manage a brown bear tourism project for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska. He is currently involved in a project assessing the ecological impacts of warfare. Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Switzer Environmental Fellow