Joseph was an engineer aboard the SS Santa Maria, a ship transporting a group of Federation colonists to Gemulon V around 2360. En route, the Santa Maria developed life support problems and landed on Orellius, a planet in the Orellius system, for repairs. However, it was discovered that none of the electrical devices worked, stranding the ship and colonists on Orellius.
Like Miles O'Brien, Joseph had been a mechanic who worked with technology all his life. However, Joseph and the other colonists learned to live without technology and adopted the philosophy of the manipulative Alixus. It was discovered that the field interfering with electric devices was artificially created, but Joseph later surprised O'Brien and Sisko, who were also stranded on the planet, when he announced that the colonists had no intention of leaving their home. (DS9: "Paradise")