Joan’s accomplishments are as diverse as her passions―policy advocate for the environment and environmental health, scientist, teacher, writer, radio and television commentator, athlete, devoted wife, mother, and proud grandma (aka Bubba).
Her public radio commentaries have been featured on NPR’s Marketplace as well as The California Report. She is a regular contributor to the KQED Perspectives series. An inveterate world traveler, Joan’s journeys have also aired on NPR’s Savvy Traveler.
Early articles appeared in California Journal magazine and the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Recent essays are found in ezines: New America Media, Environmental Magazine, Canary, and Writer Advice. Joan co-founded Legislative Birdwatchers, a volunteer California group that published unrecorded voice votes on environmental bills― an effort that resulted in a law to record all committee votes. Her essay Legislative Birdwatchers was published in Social Cause Diet (Cupola Press, 2008)
Joan produced, directed, and appeared in the public television program CaliforniaJournal Reports. The programs aired on many California stations and covered major political issues of the 1980s. Many of these controversial issues remain unresolved to this day ― crowded prisons, overflowing garbage, water disputes, toxic chemicals, and agricultural battles.
As Regional Director for The Wilderness Society, she testified before Congress and worked on the preservation of California public lands including Yosemite.
When Joan joined the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) staff, she organized a coalition of scientists, public health officials, and advocates who determined the research needed to eliminate toxins linked to breast cancer and other disease. Her efforts were also responsible for making San Francisco the first public entity to enact a precautionary law where all products purchased by the city are toxic-free. The BCF received national recognition for making this policy a keystone of environmental health throughout the country.
In 1998, Joan joined a group of athletes who raised thousands of dollars for BCF while bicycling 450 miles across a section of Alaska. In 2009, her environmental-bicycle essay was featured in the debut issue of a women’s cycling magazine, She Pedals.
Beginning as a tomboy, Joan became a nationally ranked marathon runner in her mid-forties. At 51, she became the oldest women to complete the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run under 24 hours. In 1998 at the age of 61,she bicycled all five Sierra Mountain passes in the arduous “Death Ride.”