Who is he? A brief narrative on the man.
Don was born in 1950 in Indianapolis to artist parents who were themselves innovators, authors, inventors, and idealists. His childhood was dominated by fishing, making big things that would fly, making things explode, and enjoying nature. A voracious reader who didn't care much for school, Don became expert in many things while ignoring most of his school classes. During his youth he had a number of preposterous adventures, which are the subject of one of his many unfinished books.
He paid for his first year of college by catching mosquitos at a nickel apiece. His subsequent years were paid for by factory work and college loans. Originally a physics major, he switched to geology in 1970 and managed to fit 3 years of curriculum into 2 years of work, graduating in 1972. He paid back his college loans by working construction in the 2 years after his graduation.
While in college, he kept reading. Thus began an in-depth study of dolphins and whales which stemmed from his interest in the nature of self-aware intelligence, and of the prospects for life in the universe beyond the earth. He also took, or snuck into, every environmentally-related course offered by the university. During this time, a personal ethic was evolving.
Shortly after graduation, he became a working oil-industry Geophysicist, which had the advantage of allowing him to fly around the world and be in nature while making things explode. However, the explosive and exploitive nature of the work was hard to reconcile with his increasingly-firm conservationist feelings, and he abruptly quit this lucrative career in 1975 to devote his life to conservation. His studies and work in paleontology gave him a multi-million-year perspective on evolution and extinction which found its way into his philosopy.
Don has always been a teacher by inclination. He taught inner-city science classes in Indianapolis, taught Geology in a travelling wild-west summer camp, spent two years working double jobs as a high school science teacher in Honolulu, created the largest program of marine-mammal conservation lectures in Hawaii, and has touched millions through his writings and televised productions.
Although he jokes about both, Don has been officially tested with an extremely high IQ, and with personality type INTJ by the popular Meyers-Briggs standard.
Since 1977, he has been married to Sharon Sue Difloure White ("Susie White") who is herself a well-known working-class fisheries conservation activist and NGO director. They have no children, but have two border collies who keep them busy. They live in Kailua, Hawaii in a working-activist home they designed and built on a shoestring. Over the years, they have made an art of living on little to no income, due to their frequent choice of refusing to take salaries when their programs need the money, and by spending most of their savings on environmental campaigns which could not otherwise be funded.
DJ White is one of the world's premier environmental visionaries,
strategists, and innovators. He has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and dive into an issue, even when conventional wisdom said he was tackling an impossible task. Indeed, he takes on such "impossible missions" by preference, since they are best suited to his talents and usually being attempted by no one else.
To this task, he brings a formidable array of knowledge. White is conversant in physics, biology, acoustics, computer science, electronics, business management and administration, law, legislation, treaties, marketing, audio and video production, mathematical theory, quantum science, medicine, molecular biology, psychology, astronomy, and many other disciplines. He often applies these cross-disciplinarily to create stunningly creative approaches to problems.
Don has two brothers, one of whom is a singer/songwriter who directs a midwestern television station, the other of whom is a famous writer and the last page in "Ripley's Book of Human Oddities".
For fun, Don plays guitar, paddles his kayak, and goes diving, although he has been known to occasionally have fun on some of his work projects as well.