Johanna was born and raised in the City of Newburgh where she began her career in historic preservation as a tour guide in the East End Historic District. This area contains New York State’s largest contiguous historic district 445 acres of structures that span four centuries of architectural history including rare A.J. Downing and Calvert Vaux designs. From 2004-2010 Johanna specialized in researching the American Revolution as an Historic Interpreter at the Nation’s first historic house museum, Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, which has been open to the public and caring for a museum collection since 1850.
In 2004, Johanna completed a degree in European History from Franklin College in Switzerland where she participated in an archaeology academic travel in Italy, Greece and Turkey. In 2006, she received a degree in Anthropology focusing her research on 18th century military history and local historic archaeology such as the impact of local Mastodon discoveries on 19th century scientific theory. She then pursued a certificate in Museum Studies from Smith College completed in 2007, a certificate in Archaeology from University of Virginia with a field school at Historic Jamestown in 2011 and a Master of Public Administration degree from Marist College completed in 2010. During her time at Marist College, she focused on institutional history of the New York State run historic sites and returned to the Mediterranean to make worldwide comparisons about how modern communities care for their historic resources. In 2011, she completed an internship in the Historic Trades Carpentry Department at Colonial Williamsburg, learning and teaching 18th century craftsman techniques. Back in the City of Newburgh she is restoring a Cotswold revival home with her husband Douglas and son Calvert.
From 2012-2014 Johanna served at the director of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, the Crawford House Museum and Archives where she received recognition for her efforts from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and appeared in the New York Times and on C-Span. Since 2014 she has served as the Orange County Historian and represented the County on the Communities Council for Hudson River Valley Greenway.