Joanne H. Pearson

The Joanne H. Pearson Memorial Award in Environmental Public Advocacy is a grant of up to $1,000 established in the memory of Joanne H. Pearson, a San Diego land use and environmental activist.  It is awarded annually to a Sierra Club of San Diego volunteer who is committed to protecting public rights as they relate to land use or environmental protections in the greater San Diego region.  No more than two grants, totaling no more than $1,000 will be awarded annually.

From 1997 to 2005, Joanne chaired the San Diego Sierra Club’s Coastal Committee playing a lead role in addressing coastal projects before the San Diego City Council and California Coastal Commission.  In 2004, she organized an environmental coalition to testify successfully before the California Coastal Commission for adoption of the La Jolla Local Coastal Program Update, which resulted in acceptance by the City of San Diego and the California Coastal Conservancy of all outstanding public accesses along the La Jolla coastline.  In 1994, Joanne received recognition from the California State Assembly “in honor of her commitment to preserve and enhance our coastal environment, and for her in-depth research and effective testimony before the California Coastal Commission.”  In 1997, she was named the California State Assembly “Woman of the Year” for the 78th Assembly District.

Joanne’s family wishes to publicly acknowledge the commitment and often un-recognized costs of volunteer service for those who represent the public interest.  This award represents a sincere and heart-felt thank you to those who sacrifice time away from family, pay their own costs for copies, computers, phones, travel and the like, who are often pitched against well-financed and well-heeled interests and forces, and who despite it all, advocate for positive change in the interest of the greater public.

Application/Nomination and Selection Process:
Applications/Nominations are due by January 31, 2023, to the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter, 8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Ste #101, San Diego, CA 92111. Electronic applications/nominations may be emailed to with the subject line “J.H. Pearson Memorial Grant”.   Applications/Nominations should be in the form of: 1) applicant/nominee contact information; 2) a detailed list of volunteer activities the applicant/nominee has performed for the Sierra Club of San Diego; and 3) any reasons why the applicant/nomineethinks he/she is a good fit for the award.  Prior recipients of the award may not re-apply.

The award recipient shall be determined by the current Executive Committee of the Sierra Club of San Diego, in its sole discretion, and may not be given to a current member of the Executive Committee.

The grant award will be presented at the Chapter’s annual Awards Dinner, March 18, 2023.

Past Recipients:
2018 – Ellen Shively
2019 – David Grubb