Born and raised in Billings, Montana, I was the second daughter of musician parents who both worked in Old Faithful Inn in 1939. My father worked further summers as transportation agent. I remember wonderful times in Yellowstone Park with my sister Joan: visiting with rangers, attending slide shows and sing-alongs, and playing hide-and-seek in the inn. (See more in “Janet celebrates her 75th anniversary in the park.”)
In 1995 I began work on the Yellowstone Treasures guidebook, visiting Yellowstone every year to sightsee and research, eventually attending about twenty Yellowstone Institute workshops. It took me five years to write Yellowstone Treasures and two more years until my publishing company, Granite Peak Publications, was ready to release it. As part of my research I hiked on all the trails I recommend in the guidebook, some of them several times, choosing the ones that are not too strenuous and help the visitor get away from the crowds.
My background is as a professional performer and teacher of cello. I was awarded a BA in Music cum laude from University of Southern California, also attending Stanford University and University of Washington. Many years later I earned an MA in Music from Indiana University. I lived nearly 45 years in Rhode Island, first with my husband Bill Chapple, professor of structural geology at Brown University. After Bill’s death I married Bruno Giletti, also a Brown geology professor and a good family friend.
In 2012–13, with colleague Suzanne Cane I translated and annotated Yellowstone, Land of Wonders, the 1883 French travelogue written by Belgian Jules Leclercq. This book was published by University of Nebraska Press. Having turned over the Granite Peak publisher’s hat to my middle daughter Beth, I was able to complete my anthology of early writings and art unique to Yellowstone. Through Early Yellowstone: Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis was released in June 2016.
I now live in Oakland, California. My current project is a biography of Philetus W. Norris, the eccentric but effective second superintendent of Yellowstone Park. When not researching and writing, I still play cello in informal chamber music sessions and enjoy lap swimming, walking with friends, reading, knitting, playing Scrabble, and watching classic and modern movies. I am always happy to give advice to first-time Yellowstone visitors—or anyone who will listen!
Some fun facts I’m proud of:
- Before beginning work on Yellowstone Treasures I edited and wrote about one-third of a booklet called It’s Up to You! A Handbook for Practicing Music.
- A mountain in Montana is named for my maternal grandfather, Fred Inabnit—a leader of mountaineering expeditions in the Beartooth Range in the early 20th century.
- A seamount in the South Pacific is named Chapple for my husband Bill.
Bruno, Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at Brown University, contributed the geological history chapter to Yellowstone Treasures and wrote many of its original geological sidebars. In his academic career, he contributed articles on geochemistry to major scientific journals. Part of his research was in using radioactive isotopes to measure the ages of rocks in Montana and Wyoming, as well as in New England and Scotland. In addition, he used stable isotopes to determine ancient circulation patterns of waters when they had interacted with hot newly emplaced igneous rocks, in the Rockies and Scotland. He lived in Oakland until he passed away on January 29, 2018.
Jo-Ann extensively revised the geological history chapter to Yellowstone Treasures for both the 4th and 6th editions, and revised much of the geology all three of the most recent editions. She is a consulting geologist and an Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at Idaho State University, where she teaches a course in the Geology of Yellowstone and continues research in the field of structural geology. Her interests are wide ranging and have included commodity exploration, environmental restoration, and nuclear waste disposal in geologic terrains. Her geologic map of an area of very ancient rocks in southwestern Montana was recently published by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. An old friend of Janet’s, she lives in Idaho Falls.
Linton made the excellent maps in Yellowstone Treasures, some of which can be seen on this website. Here’s one of the Canyon area. A civil engineer who retired in 1995 from California’s Department of Water Resources, he’s a long-time friend of Janet’s. He lived in Red Bluff, California, until he passed away on July 11, 2019. Janet writes: “Knowing I was casting about for a mapmaker, Linton offered to work on some drafts, and I was delighted to have his help. He started with base maps from NPS and other Internet sites and added everything I requested. We exchanged over 1500 e-mails across the country for a couple of years to make the 37 maps, which Linton created using Photoshop on his Macintosh. When it came time to make the final maps, Linton couldn’t bear to part with his “babies,” so he taught himself to use Adobe Illustrator and created them. He has stuck with the project through five editions, cheerfully updating maps as needed. I was incredibly lucky in my mapmaker!”
Beth Chapple is publisher at Granite Peak Publications and a veteran freelance editor for book publishers, museums, and individual scholars. Since 2000 she has worked as developmental editor, copy editor, production editor, proofreader, indexer, web designer, and copywriter on the Yellowstone Treasures and Through Early Yellowstone projects. She holds a BA in German Studies from Stanford University and an MS in Technical Communication from University of Washington. She served on the board of the Northwest Editors Guild for eight years. A private pilot since 2004, Beth enjoys hiking and travel in her free time. She lives in Washington State. You can get in touch with her on Twitter (@EditorBeth and @GPPublications).