After graduating from University of Pennsylvania in the Landscape Architecture Master Program, James worked for the National Park Service in the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland as an intern. He upgraded the sign system and created the park's master plan. He then worked for a private city planning and landscape architectural firm in Princeton, New Jersey, working on cityscapes and planning before joining Central Park Administration in New York City. After receiving his landscape architect registration James joined a team of other landscape architects, to work on rebuilding Central Park (five years in design and over four years in construction).
After James and his family moved to Seattle and there was a down-turn in the field of landscape architecture, James took a job as a barista and eventually began working for a design-build landscaping company. Wanting to get back into historic preservation of parks / landscapes and master planning of large scale park projects, James restarted his career in the field he enjoys most as Snohomish County parks' landscape planner. He received Arborist Certification from the International Society of Arboriculture in 2012.