Jim recently retired from a 40-year career with the US Forest Service as a Geologist in January 2022, the last 32 of those years in SE Alaska. Jim was raised in Mount Saint Helens country in Washington state. He earned an Associate Science degree from Lower Columbia Community College in Longview Washington in 1977, a BS in 1980 and a MS in 1982, both in Geology from Washington State University, Pullman Washington. For his work in geology, glacial history, and geoarchaeology of southeast Alaska, in 2013 Jim was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Alaska Southeast.
For nearly 25 years Jim has volunteered for Alaska Department of Fish and Game and University researchers studying Sitka black-tailed deer, helping researchers monitor winter mortality, recover radio collars, collect fecal pellets for DNA population analysis, and assess deer habitat. In 2008, Jim attended his first Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake informing others about Sitka black-tailed deer on the Tongass National Forest and their habitat challenges. Realizing a need for accurate information on Sitka Black-tailed deer, Jim, Sophie Gilbert, and Todd Brinkman created the Sitka Black-Tailed Deer Coalition.
Jim is excited to have joined the ranks of the Mule Deer Foundation as the Alaskan Regional Coordinator. In his own words he is “…continuing the vision of his friend and mentor Dennis Neil, a conservation path started in 2008.” Jim’s duties will be to represent MDF for conservation work (habitat work & partnerships) and grassroots efforts within Alaska working with federal, state and tribal agencies as well as the general public for the purpose of enhancement of Sitka Black-Tailed deer habitat, raising funds for conservation work and developing chapters and membership in Alaska.