- The Artist
The international Explorers club was founded in 1904 in New York City to recognize the importance of, and continuation of, the human spirit of exploration. Its membership includes many of Jim's heroes as a child, Jacques Cousteau, Thor Heyerdahl, Robert Ballard, Sylvia Earle, Sir Edmund Hillary and most of the great explorers of the 20th century. Jim's induction into the Explorers club as a "Fellow" ( a member who has contributed to the betterment of humanity in exploration or science) is a result of his oceanographic work in the 1990s.
In 1991, Jim developed protocols for the US Corps of Engineers to protect sea turtles during dredging operations and worked to develop the Department of the Interior's " Rigs to Reef" ,artificial reef program- which utilized no longer viable offshore platforms to create artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Later, In 1992, Jim, working with the U.S. National Marine fisheries service, Walkers Cay Marine Park, and the Aquarium of the Americas, developed the first electronic Shark tagging program used to establish shark biological data. He also, working with the National Marine sanctuary program, Texas A&M University, and the Aquarium of the Americas, developed " Project Reef Spawn " in 1995 ,which was the first hemispheric study of mass Coral Spawning, involving teams of divers across the Western Hemisphere from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. For several year's his organization, Oceanographic Expeditions, facilitated marine research all over the world, making groundbreaking discoveries in coral reproduction, shark behavior and spiny lobster conservation.
His oceanographic work also involved Marine conservation education in Central America, patenting an underwater communication device for divers, and designing exhibitry and organizing global volunteer projects for public aquariums. He will tell you that each and every one of these projects contributed something to the programs we developed for ARTS FOR ANIMALS, and I can't tell you how proud I am of him being recognized for his accomplishments in the field of oceanography and Marine conservation.