James (Jim) graduated from the VSF in 1936 and, until December 1941, was attached to Forest Assessment.
He was awarded the Diploma of Forestry Victoria in 1952 on approval of his thesis on The distribution of Eucalypt species in the County of Wonnangatta and adjacent parts of North Gippsland with reference to physiographic and climatic factors.
Jim was assessing near Mt St Leonard on January 8th 1939 when the fire that swept through Toolangi passed “half a mile” to the north and was in East Warburton on the 13th (Black Friday) in front of the fire that went on to destroy Woods Point.
In February 1940 Jim was detached from formal assessment work to carry out a rapid reconnaissance of the largely unmapped mountain country of Gippsland to locate useful stands of timber and to estimate volumes. This work continued until Easter 1941 when he returned to Head Office to write up and map all his assessment reports.
In December 1941 he was appointed Assistant Forester in the Erica Forest District and promoted to District Forester of the Nowa Nowa District in 1946. While there, he identified a new species of stringybark, subsequently named Eucalyptus mackintii. In 1949 he was returned to Erica as District Forester and in 1951 appointed Chief Forester to the Orbost District.
In 1959 Jim was promoted to Assistant Divisional Forester in the South-west Division - based in Ballarat. From 1966 he was Assistant Divisional Forester in the Central Division (Healesville) and from 1971 to his retirement in 1981 he was Divisional Forester in the Northern Division (Bendigo). He was awarded the National Medal for service to fire protection from 1937 to 1981; recorded in the Australian Roll of Honour; recorded in the ‘People’s Forest’ - an oral history project of the National Library; and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria (Forestry in East Gippsland – 1969).