James (Jim) Thorson is the leader (and sole member) of the Habitat and Ecological Process Research Program (HEPR). Jim earned a Masters in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Washington. Jim joined NOAA Fisheries in 2012 and worked as a stock assessment scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center until 2018. In the HEPR program, Jim envisions and encourages cross-divisional research, with emphasis upon activities related to Loss of Sea Ice and Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Regarding EFH, Jim works with the Alaska Regional Office to coordinate an annual request for proposals funding $300-400,000 in single- and multi-year projects. Jim also leads development of the Vector Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal (VAST) R package, which is used for stock, ecosystem, habitat, and climate-vulnerability assessments across the US and worldwide. Finally, Jim continues to conduct theoretical and applied research regarding climate impacts, stock-assessment methods, spatial statistics, and life-history theory.