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. He then led the HEPR program from 2018-2022, where he envisioned and encouraged cross-divisional research, with emphasis upon activities related to Loss of Sea Ice and Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Jim currently works on translating research to operations regarding stock assessment, spatio-temporal modelling, life-history theory, and ecosystem synthesis. Jim also leads development of the Vector Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal (VAST) and FishLife R packages, which are used for stock, ecosystem, habitat, and climate-vulnerability assessments across the US and worldwide.