Joan is an award-winning magazine editor and successful editor of many trade and academic titles, including No Man's Garden: Thoreau and a New Vision for Civilization and Nature (Berkeley Publishing Group, 1999) by Daniel B. Botkin; Principles of Biology (Nature USA, 2012); and Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet, Daniel B. Botkin and Ed Keller (Wiley & Sons, 1995 and 2014). 

"Ms. Melcher has a great ability to take complex scientific information and assist writers in making such material clean, readable and readily available. Her focus is on the major structure of documents and overall style. I recommend her strongly as a professional editor." - Daniel Botkin

"... the very favorable recent reviews were due, in large part, to Joan's meticulous line editing and formatting of the manuscript." Sally Cheney,  John Wiley & Sons       

Joan won 22 regional and national awards in the seven years she edited the the Montanan, many of them for feature stories. In 2005 the magazine received a Distinguished Achievement Award for most improved magazine from the American Education Publishers. The magazine also received two Maggie awards from the Western Publication Associa-tion that year. 

​Is Butte, Montana, the Davos of the Rockies? Pacific Standard

Battery Co. Claims Novel Electrolyte Will Do the Trick, Clean Technica

Divining the Secret of Deformed Roadkill, Pacific Standard

Power Struggle: The Numbers Behind the Energy Rhetoric, High Country News

Two Q&As explored renewable energy policy of China and the U.S.
Throwing the Race for Green Energy, Pacific Standard
A Rising Green-Tech Tide Will Lift All Boats, Pacific Standard

​A History in the Making, Pacific Standard
Joan's story about Julie Cajune, a Salish Indian educator, brought Cajune to the attention of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; in early 2010 she received a $1.4 million grant to continue bringing her work in American Indian history and culture to a mass audience. She also was named by Utne magazine as one of 50 visionaries changing our world. 

Society of Environmental Journalists​​ 

Fellow Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting Seminar April 2010.