Joan Embrey Born in San Diego in 1949 Joan Embery spent her childhood camping under the stars, hiking the canyons and watching the sun set. Although she is allergic to animals and is afraid of bugs, she has trained and handled some of the world's rarest and most unusual animals, from aardvarks to zebras. She is also a champion of environmental, conservation and preservation issues around the world. While at San Diego State University Joan specialized in zoology and telecommunications and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at Eastern Illinois University.
She has spent most of her life being a spokeswoman for the Zoological Society of San Diego (which includes the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park), educating the public about the wildlife and environment by making appearances on television, doing radio interviews, speaking engagements and performing animal presentations. Her love for the wildlife has taken her to such exotic places as Africa, China, Nepal, India, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Thailand and the Amazon. As she once stated, she “enjoys traveling to all parts of the world to observe animals in their natural habitats.” Additionally, Joan has served on many boards focusing on conservation and wildlife issues such as Morris Animal Foundation, Wildlife Health Center School of Veterinary Medicine UC Davis, San Diego River Park Foundation, Anza-Borrego Foundation, Project Wildlife (advisory board), Blue Sky Community Foundation, and as a participant or instructor for Envirovet.
She has also received numerous awards for her dedication to the animals and the environment and has authored four books on these topics; My Wild World, Amazing Animal Facts, On Horses and The Good Dog Book. In 2004 Joan established The Embery Institute for Wildlife Conservation with the hope of connecting people to wildlife and conservation issues and making people aware of the role each individual plays in insuring healthy environments. It is for her devotion to the wildlife and the environment as well as her overwhelmingly positive representation of the San Diego community that we welcome Joan Embery as the 2007 Spirit of the Women’s Hall of Fame.