Jim is a naturalist and tireless promoter of nature and heritage travel experiences on the peninsula that comprises the State of Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia (known regionally as “Delmarva”). He started birding in 1989 while attending Salisbury University, and became active in Delmarva’s birding community after attending the Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding & Wildlife Festival in 1991.
Jim is the director of the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center, a 500+ acre wildlife preserve and outdoor recreation hub located in Eden, Maryland. The mission of the HODC is to provide opportunities to explore and celebrate nature, and to promote harmony between all people through natural experiences.
Jim was employed as director of the Salisbury Zoological Park from 1994 through 2007. In addition to managing the daily operations for a living collection, buildings, and grounds that hosted 200,000+ annual visitors, he also found time to help found and manage the award-winning Delmarva Birding Weekend in 1995.
From 2007 through 2011, Jim was employed as director of Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences (DLITE), a regional nature tourism alliance. DLITE led efforts to create water trails for Smith Island, the Nanticoke River, and Maryland’s coastal bays; develop interpretation-training programs for Delmarva nature and history; and establish the Smith Island Cake as Maryland’s official state dessert. Under Jim’s direction, DLITE received tourism awards from the Delaware and Maryland Offices of Tourism. Jim was named Tourism Person of the Year in both Wicomico and Worcester counties in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
In 2015, Jim formed Conservation Community Consulting, LLC, with his friend and business partner Dave Wilson. Jim produces monthly travel videos with Unscene Productions for Worcester County Tourism’s Beach and Beyond YouTube Channel. He is also the chair of the Wildlife Diversity Advisory Committee for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
To learn more about Jim and Conservation Community Consulting, go to conservationcommunityconsulting.com