Jim started collecting as a kid, in the mountaiins of Central Utal. His primary focus during his professional years remained collection. This is shown by a single page document on the following page which he prepared after he retired, obviusly looking back and summarizing his work.
I think of him as A Man of the Desert, a particular breed of mah who was raissed in the arid harshness of Utah deserts. He returned to those specific deserts. Over 21 years, he opened many quarries most of which produced specimens that are presently stored at BYU who tried to manage him during those years.
The issue of BYU management deserves a detailed discussion. I will provide my perception of how he was handled, about his relationship with the univeristy, some of which is pure speculation, some of which is based on what I heard from mom and dad and documents that Iíve seen. That speculation is found at this page. Suffice it to say at this point, one surprise at that the quantity of his work, and the magnitude of determination to collect is magnified once one grasps the penury that he was requreid to work under. One man and one full time assistant, with a limited budget would not be expected to have accomplished what he has. Starting out with a rocky right with Lehi Hintze, a nice, quiet academician ill prepared to handle a rambunctious bull, followed by soft-talking, out-of-his-depth-too Armin Hill, and finally ending up under Robert Thomas, a manipulative Vice-President, James fought and kicked the entire 21 years. Iíll tell you more about it later.
Back to the quarries: it is clever that the first quarry he opened in the year he arrived, 1961, was the Jensen-Jensen Quarry. We lived in Vernal years ago (Vernal is 15 miles from the tiny village of Jensen) and momís ancestors ran the ferry across the Green River at that site 60 years earlier.
The naming convention he used was simple: he either identified the site by the name of the location followed by the year (2 digits), or he picked an outstanding specimen collected from the site, followed again by the year. I believe that there was subtle humor in some names but do not know it.