In high school, he taught himself HTML and began coding Web pages for his High School’s Web site.
During this time, James obtained his Amateur Radio License and later made contact with the former MIR space station. He also saved up $200 for his first GPS (a lot for a 15-year-old!).
After graduating high school, James joined the United States Marine Corps. He attended the Communications & Electronics School in 29 Palms, California, where he built on his knowledge of radio and antenna systems.
He was assigned to a communications platoon in North Carolina, where he fulfilled his duties as a Field Radio Operator, Encryption NCO, and Air Operator for the regiment. During his time in the Marine Corps, he received advanced training in NBC Warfare, Cold Weather Survival, and advanced weapons training.
Upon leaving the military, James was awarded a full scholarship at Berea College, where he managed the college’s Web Team.
After re-designing the college’s Web site, James and his team were awarded the 2006 CASE Award in recognition of a well-done site. While working on the Web team developed advanced proficiency in user-centric Web design, usability, and experience using industry-standard tools such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash.
During the summer of his Junior year, he set off on an independent study that would take him along Kentucky’s Cumberland Plateau, following the Sheltowee Trace. Three weeks and 276 miles later, James had collected a significant amount of GPS/GIS and photographic information with which he could create a interactive map of his experience.
After graduating from Berea College, James moved to Oxford, Ohio where we worked as a Webmaster for Miami University‘s College of Arts and Science, where he developed and maintained several Websites.