James received a M.Sc. in GIS from the University of Leeds in 2009, where he became interested in wilderness attribute mapping. For his thesis, he developed a spatial model to identify suitable areas for marine wilderness protection. After a brief stint as an assistant researcher for the Wildland Research Institute, he was contracted to work on a wilderness character mapping project with the Leopold Institute in September 2010. The aim of this on-going project is to develop a spatial model, using 40 data inputs and existing monitoring strategies, to produce a set of maps depicting wilderness character at Death Valley National Park; it will also investigate how different planning alternatives impact spatially on wilderness character quality. James has also worked for the National Trust for Scotland as a GIS officer at various highland estates.
Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Missoula, Montana