Jim holds a bachelor's degree in Zoology with a minor in Geology, and a master's in Environmental and Forest Biology, specializing in insect chemical ecology.
Prior to coming to the HTIRC, Jim assisted in running the daily operations of the Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative at the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Forestry Center for 17 years. His primary duties entailed designing, implementing, and measuring field trials, assisting with orchard management, conducting tree breeding and grafting, and collecting data. Jim led efforts to organize and modernize Cooperative data in a relational database management system, and managed records for all orchards and trials. He also assisted with monthly and annual reporting.