For as long as he can remember, Jim has been driven by wanderlust, beginning with exploring the forests of the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee and discovering the wonders of many U.S. national parks with his parents. As a budding young naturalist, Jim's interest gravitated to birds, and at the age of 10, he wrote a book about the birds in his backyard. His most formative childhood nature experiences took place on an annual trip with his dad to a fly-in camp in the wilderness of Ontario, where he had his first encounter with a wild bear. Little did Jim know that experience would alter his life forever.
With the completion of a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Anthropology, Jim's goal was to help bridge an ever-widening gap between people and nature. He headed to Alaska to manage a remote tent camp, then quickly transitioned into bear guiding. It was during this time that his passion for bears developed. While continuing to guide in the summers, Jim headed to Oregon State University to delve into the science of bear biology in the Master of Natural Resources and Wildlife Management program. During his studies, he wrote the Human–Black Bear Conflict Technical Manual for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Damage website. Jim has since deepened his field experience guiding bear-viewing adventures in Alaska and conducts research on the social communication of brown bears in Lake Clark National Park. He is also active in the International Bear Association and provides independent consultation on bear-related ecotourism and bear behavior. In 2019, he will begin a doctoral program at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, with a focus on continuing his bear research at Lake Clark.
In his spare time, Jim enjoys international travel and riding motorcycles, always seeking the roads and regions less visited. He tries to add one new country every year, with an aim to complete a motorcycle adventure across Nepal and a trek to Everest Base Camp by 2020. As a guide for Natural Habitat Adventures in the canyons of the American Southwest and Glacier National Park in Montana, Jim hopes to share life-changing experiences with his guests while instilling his passion for the natural world.
Upcoming Adventures with Jim:
Canyons of the American Southwest
Glacier & Waterton: An International Treasure