Our Board

Janet Alderton President

Janet spent 27 years as a research biologist at the University of California, Berkeley before retiring to Orcas Island. She loves hiking, native plants, and gardening. On her 5 rocky, dry acres in Deer Harbor, Janet is working to remove invasive plants such as Canada thistle and scotch broom and selectively pulling alien grasses to encourage the native grasses, wild flowers, ferns, and mosses. Janet proudly supports the research and public education activities of the Friends that are helping to protect our fresh and salt-water resources and the web of life that they sustain.

Toby Cooper Vice President

Toby Cooper joined forces with the Friends after first volunteering on the investment committee where he helped craft a green and sustainable investment plan for endowment and operational funds. He brings to the Board a lifetime of environmental advocacy, including many years on the professional staffs of Defenders of Wildlife and the National Parks Conservation Association, both in Washington, D.C. He currently serves as Chairman of the Mountain Lion Foundation, Sacramento, CA. He and his wife, Sarah, love their island home in the Rosario area of Orcas and own a business in Eastsound.

Bruce Rylander Treasurer

Bruce has been a longtime home owner and part-time resident of Orcas Island for more than 20 years. He moved to the island full time three years ago, and retired from various positions as a Finance Executive and Business Consultant. As a longtime member of Friends, Bruce supports Friends’ organizational goals and objectives to preserve the Salish Sea ecosystem and maintain the character and quality of island life.

Ken Carrasco Secretary

Ken is a retired biologist and resides on Orcas Island where he lives with his wife Mariann, a retired wildlife biologist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology with an emphasis on marine invertebrates and also has a master’s degree in Dungeness crab ecology from the University of Washington, although during his career he also worked with salmon. He worked for various organizations including the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Cordova and Kodiak) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and participated in research on the Exxon Valdez disaster for two years. Ken served in the US Coast Guard before college; he was stationed aboard a polar icebreaker for three deployments including two to the South Pole and one to the North. He is convinced of climate change because of the rapid, dramatic changes to the Arctic since his service there. Ken now enjoys boating in the Salish Sea and is a proponent of electric transportation technology, both for cars on land and to provide propulsion for boats on the water.

Paul Anderson

Born and raised in Seattle, Paul Anderson is certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist and has been working in natural resource management since 1990 as a wetland and wildlife biologist. His interest and focus as a wildlife biologist is in habitat management and he has worked on projects throughout the western U.S., including Alaska. Prior to retiring in July 2017, Paul worked as a wetland specialist at Ecology’s Northwest Regional Office from July 2006 to March 2014, when he became the Wetlands Unit Supervisor. He has been teaching wetland delineation, hydric soils and determining the ordinary high water mark for Shoreline Management Act compliance since 2010 and is currently teaching Wetland Law and Policy at the University of Washington’s Wetland Science and Management Certificate Program. Paul holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in wildlife science from the University of Washington.

San Olson

San’s interest is in maintaining both the quality of rural life in the San Juans and protecting our magnificent maritime environment. San has been a dairy farmer, a naval officer, and practiced small animal medicine in Boston and Seattle for 33 years. He was actively involved in the Friends of Barlow Bay’s efforts to oppose a large marina. He is the Chairperson of the South Lopez Public Water District and past president of the Catherine Washburn Memorial Association (owner of the Lopez Medical Clinic).

Chris Wolfe

Chris lives on Orcas, where she and her husband, Justin, own and operate a renewable energy business. She recently worked at Environmental Defense Fund, focusing on improving air quality at ports and in the shipping sector, and brings that experience to support the Friends’ efforts to protect the Salish Sea. Chris holds a master’s degree in Ecology/Evolution from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, as well as bachelor degrees in both Biology and Business Administration from the University of Washington. She’s an avid sailor, loves to watch wildlife, and spends many hours walking her dogs and looking for mushrooms on her wooded property.

Susan Dehlendorf

Susan and her husband, David, have lived on San Juan Island for the past 13 years. She is a retired City of Seattle bureaucrat whose early career was in journalism. She is active in the local League of Women Voters and previously served as a County Planning Commissioner. She holds two degrees from Stanford University. She and David are proud parents of two accomplished daughters and grandparents of three.

Dixie Budke

Dixie’s strengths lie in her organizational and humanistic character. Her life’s work experience has crossed all sectors – from consulting corporate America to directing a non-profit to a professorship. Dixie has made her living studying human and business organizational culture and will help strengthen Friends’ effectiveness as we work to promote local environmental awareness and stewardship. Dixie holds a BS degree in Business Administration and Management, a Master’s degree in Human Development and a Doctorate in Human and Organization Systems. Her dream community is one where a divergent population can come together in respectful discourse about important matters that improve the good of all. To this end, Dixie is willing to lend her shoulder to support the idea of ‘common good’ in Friends’ work. Dixie looks forward to helping Friends continue to be advocates, data providers and environmental educators for our community.

Ken Burtness

Ken Burtness has a long history in the San Juan Islands – his family moved to Shaw in 1890 and he has lived on Lopez for 35 years. He was born and raised in Anacortes and attended the University of Washington. Ken started working for the Washington State Ferries as a summer job during college. He ended up making it a permanent job as a captain. Ken retired in 2008. His biggest interest these days is gardening. Because of his long family history in the islands, he feels very connected to this place and the people who live here. Ken views his board membership as a way to contribute to keeping the islands a special place. With his deep island roots and in-depth knowledge of our local waterways, it is an honor to have Ken on the Friends board.

Carol Kibble

Carol states that a central guiding principle in her life has been a love of nature. The Friends of San Juans mission: “Protect what you love” is a good fit for her. She has been active in various environmental organizations most of her life – the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Cener for Biological Diversity, NRDC, Washington Environmental Council, 350.org and others, and helped found Sustainable NE Seattle, a successful non-profit that provides educational and activist opportunities for the local community. She was a teacher for 30 years in the Seattle School District, as well as a wife to Jim, a now retired attorney, and mother of their two daughters, Robin and Emily. In 2010 she found her island home on San Juan Island where she got serious about gardening. She is glad to be a board member for the Friends of San Juans because she firmly believes in the notion “You have to be more careful with an island.”

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