Helen R. Whiteley Center

What to Bring and Other Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is provided to aid scholars preparing applications as well as those who have arrived on site.

Computers and Networking

The FHL computer network provides the Whiteley Center with its connection to the world. Guests who wish to connect to the Center's network should insure that their computer/tablet/smartphone has the latest OS security patches and anti-virus protection . If you are unsure your computer is up-to-date, you may use the common-use computers in the Computer Lab. This lab is available 24 hours/day. There you can access your email via web browser, or print files from your USB thumb drive or other portable storage device.

Alan Cairns and Grant Schwinge are your primary consultants for assistance, availability of equipment, or other issues involving computers and the network. Their office is in the Computer Lab next tothe Fernald Building ("Main Lab").

Each of the five rooms in the Study has wifi connectivity and numerous ethernet ports -- (both wall and floor jacks). The jacks are orange in color and accept standard Ethernet "RJ45"plug-in connectors.

Some computer equiment and supplies can also be purchased in the town of Friday Harbor.


The Whiteley Center has color Xerox laser network printer, the Xerox Phaser 8560. It can be used to print on two sides (duplex) up to a size of 8.5 x 14 inches. Print jobs for A4 paper (common in Europe) will stall the printer, and must be reformated for US-letter paper. Access to the printer is typically via the network (IP printing) but access can be made directly to the printer using a USB cable. Instructions for using the printer are posted above it. Craig or Alan can assist you with the network configuration to the printer.

Mail and Packages

Ordinary mail addressed to you at Whiteley Center, 620 University Road, Friday Harbor WA 98250 will be placed in the mailboxes in the entrance hall of the Fernald Labs.  The office staff will sign for express packages and the like (same address, 360-378-2165 for the phone).

UW Library, Seattle

If you are a part of the UW Network, you will have access to the University's excellent library system. Follow this link to the FHL portal of the University of Washington Library System. If you are offsite and accessing this link, then some of its features will not be available for you. All features are available for users who access the library from the Center's network. In addition to receiving recent articles in all fields directly to your computer, you may have copies of articles made at the main library in Seattle and forwarded to you at FHL.

If you are not affiliated with the University of Washington, please investigate how to borrow through your own institution or through your public library. (Scholars who will have extended stays at the Whiteley Center may be eligible for Visiting Scholar status that would allow use of the UW Library System. Please let us know in advance if you will need this service.)

Copy Machines

Two copy machines are available in Fernald Lab in the rear of the library. You will need a personal access code to use them and to be charged for your use. This code may be obtained from the staff in the main office at FHL.


A flatbed scanner, connected to a Macintosh computer, is available for use in the Computer Lab. The scanned images can be written to a thumb drive or CD. 

Digital Video Projector

FHL and the Whiteley Center share a light-weight video projector, which attaches to the video output of most computers. Center scholars can reserve short-term use of this projector in the FHL Stockroom. A high-quality table-top projection screen is available in the printer room of the Study.

2x2 inch Slide Projector

There is a P-180 Leica slide projector in the computer service room for use in the Study. There is also a high-quality table top presentation screen that can be used when viewing slides.

Overhead Projector

There is an overhead projector available in the network printer room for use at the center.


From mid June to mid September high temperatures range between high 60's and 90 degrees, cooling to high 40s to mid 50s at night. From November to March, highs run in the mid 40s to low 50s, with lows occasionally dropping below freezing.

Because San Juan Island is in the rainshadow of the mountains on the Olympic Pennisula and Vancouver Island, summers are very dry with 2-3 inches of rain between June and September. November is usually the wettest month of the winter, seeing typically 4-5 inches, dropping off to about 2 inches in March. The annual average is 29 inches. Snow is uncommon.

Winter winds peaking to 45 mph, usually from the SE, are not uncommon, and rare major storms, usually nor'easters, can exceed 110 mph.

The sun appears, on average, 247 days a year.

Tides range between -4.0 to over +10 feet, with two lows and two highs each day. These exchanges drive local ocean currents which, in various channels and around headlands, exceed 5-7 knots.



Boating, kayaking, fishing, tennis, year-around golf (a few days excepted), volley ball, hiking, bicycling, birding, first-run movies all are available. Swimming is out (water temperatures range between 12 and 6 degrees Celsius); scuba diving is popular, but closely regulated on campus. There is an excellent performing arts building in Friday Harbor that features plays and musical events. Tourism, including yachting, is intense between mid June early September. There are a number of local events, including the County Fair, in the summer.


Dress is very informal at all times. In winter, reasonable protection against rain - and muddy paths - is desirable.