He is a registered professional forester (#12) with the Alberta Registered Professional Foresters Association. Jim is an avid hunter and avid bird and butterfly watcher.
He is married to Dr. Barbara Hardin Beck and has two grown sons, Robert D. Beck and James E Beck, who he is proud of, in spite of the fact that they are computer geeks. As well, he has the prettiest two grand daughters in the world and the most handsome grandson in the world, even if he is a devil at heart.
Major Responsibilities/Research Interests
Timber Supply/Wildlife Habitat Modeling, currently working on the temporal (usually in excess of 150 years) and the spatial aspect of these problems.
Research and Consulting
Occasional projects looking at forest and wildlife habitat modeling to support projects looking at sustainable forest management and or specific policy problems related to sustainable forest management.
As well Jim and his wife, Barb, continue their work recording and collecting bird sounds. They have produced a CD-Roms of Alberta Bird Songs which are available from many locations in Alberta including the U of A Bookstore. Theses CDs are used both recreationally and for research by wildlife survey biologists.
In recent years he and his wife have become two of the provincial drivers of trying to increase interest and participation in Alberta Butterfly Counts to collect data on the distribution, range, timing of flight, etc of the butterflies in the Province. Several scientists from around the world have requested and received samples for research studies which the Becks then collected for them. He and Barb are the Alberta Editors for the Alberta Butterfly Counts.
Jim was one of the first two professors hired to start the forestry program at the U of A in 1971. He has taught forest measurements, field camp, forest policy, part of forest fire management, forest management, wildlife habitat supply modeling, introduction to surveying principles (GPS, GIS, Photogrametry and Photo Interpretation), and advanced courses in forest management and timber supply modeling, . He was chair of the Forest Science Department for 7 years between 1980 and 1989, and Chair of the Renewable Resources Department for 6 years between 1995 - 2001.
Jim offers the occasional guest lecture in courses as requested.