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About Joan N. Boothe

When Joan N. Boothe was eight years old and living in western Oregon, it wasn't horses, ribbons or dolls that were on her mind but stories of adventure. In particular, one book with a story of icy Antarctica fired her imagination. “I knew then that one day I would travel there,” says Boothe. It took four decades, but in 1995 she made her first trip to the Antarctic Peninsula region — an adventure she calls “life changing.”

Boothe, who has now traveled to the Antarctic 11 times, including making a 67-day circumnavigation of the entire Antarctic continent aboard an icebreaker, is author of the critically acclaimed book The Storied Ice: Exploration, Discovery, and Adventure, in Antarctica’s Peninsula Region.

She is considered an expert on Antarctic history and has been interviewed by NPR, taught a course in the Stanford University Continuing Studies program on the history of Antarctica’s Heroic Age, guest lectured on Antarctic tour ships and spoken on the Antarctic for the Explorers Club, Rotary Club chapters, at Stanford University’s Green Library, and other venues.

Boothe has built one of the most comprehensive private Antarctic collections in the United States, containing more than 1,800 individual titles of Antarctic-related books and thousands of journal articles. She has recently contracted to donate the collection to Stanford University, over a period of several years.

In addition to her Antarctic interests, Boothe has been actively involved in community affairs in San Francisco, where she has lived since 1970. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards including the San Francisco Mothers’ Milk Bank, the California Wilderness Coalition, the Northern California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and the University of California Business School Alumni Association. Boothe is a founding board member of The Sierra Nevada Alliance.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Boothe was elected to Phi Beta Kappa with an honors degree in economics and did doctoral work in economics at Columbia University. Boothe received an M.B.A. in finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and also pursued doctoral studies in organizational behavior at Berkeley.

Prior to turning her lifelong fascination with Antarctic history into a full time passion, Boothe’s working career was in economics and finance, including working for The Council on Economic Priorities as a researcher/writer, for Chevron Corporation as a senior financial manager, and as adjunct faculty at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, where she taught courses in Organizational Behavior and Principles of Management to both undergraduates and graduate business students.

For the past 47 years, Joan has been married to Barry Boothe, with whom she has two children. As part of their joint passion for spectator sports (track and field and women’s basketball in particular), they have attended nearly every Summer Olympic Games since 1976.

Click for PDF Press Kit about Joan N. Boothe and The Storied Ice


Joan welcomes comments or questions about The Storied Ice or other matters Antarctic. She may be contacted at joannboothe@joannboothe.com.

Joan not only has a deep and rich knowledge of Antarctic history, she is also an experienced, enthusiastic, and exciting speaker. Sample comments from students in her Stanford Continuing Studies course on the Antarctic Heroic Age highlight Joan’s ability to communicate with an audience and excite interest in her subject: