Joan Embery

Joan Marie Embery (born June 1, 1949 in San Diego, California, United States)[1] is an American animal and environmental advocate. She was a Trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation, a professional Fellow of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a member of the Advisory Board of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Wildlife Health Center, and a founding member the American Association of Zoo Keepers. The goodwill ambassador to the San Diego Zoo's Zoological Society of San Diego[2] for 32 years, she has hosted educational series "Animal Express", "Animals of Africa", "Baby Panda" and "Challenge to Wildlife Specials for Public Broadcasting". She has raised awareness of animals and wildlife conservation through her books, tours, projects, and appearances on television shows, including talk shows.

Joan Embery
Joan Marie Embery

(1949-06-01) June 1, 1949 (age 71)
Alma materEastern Illinois University

In addition to being an environmental advocate, Embery is a skilled horsewoman who has won many awards.

Embery studied zoology and telecommunications at San Diego State University before earning a bachelor of arts degree in communication at Eastern Illinois University. She lives with her husband Duane Pillsbury on Pillsbury Ranch, a 50-acre (20 ha) ranch in Lakeside, California, home to show horses, wildlife ambassadors, native wildlife, and personal pets.

Television appearancesEdit

Embery appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Entertainment Tonight, ALF, The Phil Donahue Show, Newhart, Hollywood Squares, Win, Lose or Draw, The Larry Sanders Show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Xuxa, Leeza, Kidsongs and PM Magazine.


Embery was nominated and inducted into the San Diego County Women's Hall of Fame in 2007 by Women's Museum of California, Commission on the Status of Women, University of California, San Diego Women's Center, and San Diego State University Women's Studies.[3]

Outstanding Celebrity Philanthropist – Rotary International, San Diego Chapter[4]
Headliner of the Year Award – San Diego Press Club
Paul Harris Award - Rotary International
Honorary Lifetime Member – AAZK (American Association of Zookeepers)
Outstanding Documentary Personality – ON CABLE Award 1983
Excellence in Informational Programming – Cable ACE Award 1983
Living Legacy Award – Women's International 1994
Honorary Doctorate of Public Service – Eastern Illinois University 1994
Distinguished Alumna Award – Eastern Illinois University 1998[5]
Soroptimist Honoree of Distinction 2001
Style Award – Fashion Group International, San Diego Chapter 2002
Tracks in the Sand Conservation Award – The Living Desert 2004
Communications and Leadership Award – Toastmasters International 2005
Ambassador for Wildlife Award – Miami Metro Zoo 2005
Life Time Achievement Award – PAWS San Diego County, 2006
Legacy Award – Nonprofit Management Solutions 2006
Alumni Award – San Diego City Schools 2006
San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame – Spirit of the Hall of Fame 2007
Outstanding Celebrity Volunteer – American Federation of Philanthropists - 2010
Conservation Medal-Zoological Society of San Diego -2011
Women of Distinction Salvation Army 2011
Cool Women – Girl Scouts of San Diego 2012[6]
Women Who Mean Business Community Service Award – 2015[7]


  1. ^ "Joan Embery". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  2. ^ "About the San Diego Zoo". 6 December 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. ^ "New name, big plans for Women's History Museum in 2011 - La Jolla Light - La Jolla Light". 1 July 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Home - AFPCASanDiegoChapter" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Eastern Illinois University : The Keep : Embery First BOG Distinguished Alumnus". 1989-10-05. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Cool Women Alumnae". Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  7. ^ "San Diego Business Journal : AWARDS OF DISTINCTION" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2018.

External linksEdit