Jim was the Director and an instructor at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus from 1985 to 2009. His enthusiasm for natural history and ecology has led to an extensive knowledge of the plant and animal life in the Sierra Buttes and Yuba Pass area of the Sierra Nevada. He believes that every class should be highly informative, somewhat rigorous and fun.
He has taught the World of Plants, Nature Study, Natural Sciences for Teachers, Bird Banding, and Bird Identification by Song classes at SNFC and continues to teach the latter there.
Jim taught at Everett Middle School and Wallenberg High School as a science teacher and was a lecturer at San Francisco State University for Biology 230 - Introductory Biology for majors and Biology 101 Human Biology.
He was the principal investigator for the Sierra Nevada Neotropical Migratory Bird Riparian Habitat Monitoring project sponsored by the US Forest Service.
He conducted breeding bird surveys for the USGS. He is a past president of the Western Bird Banding Association and was an official trainer for the North American Banding Council's certification program.