Joanne was born in Montana, and received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Washington majoring in Atmospheric Science. She had a long and successful career in the National Weather Service, holding forecast positions including aviation, acting lead, hydrology, and high seas. She also held Headquarters positions including Congressional Liaison, automated observing system manager, Program Coordination Officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration headquarters, spokesperson for media and for the NOAA Weather Radio program, Senior Advisor to the NWS Director, Executive Director, and Operational Workforce Analysis lead. She oversaw several major contracts and served as the interface for the National Academy of Public Administration study on National Weather Service Operations.
She married Marc in 2005, and they semi-retired and moved to New Mexico in 2016. She loves riding her horse in dressage and on the trail, hiking, helping with the Foundation, studying and researching the weather, and taking courses ranging from history to theoretical physics and geology.