Jim Russell moved from New England to Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2001 and has been involved in the Virginia Search and Rescue program since 2014.
He is the Director of the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute (SARTI) and former Group Commander of Tidewater Search and Rescue (TSAR).
Jim holds certifications as a Search Team Leader (STL), Management Team Member (MTM), and Tracking Technician (TT) from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).
In 2019, Jim became a VDEM Adjunct Instructor for the Virginia Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) Academy. Jim has been part of the instructor cadre for the Tracking Team Operations (formerly called F.A.S.T.) class, Search Team Operations class, and the Search Team Leadership class.
Since attending comparative osteology workshops at Radford University, Western Carolina University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Jim has been researching and developing his own workshop for comparative osteology, comparing and identifying animal versus human bones that are found during searches. He launched The Russell Bone Atlas in 2019, a comparative osteology website that searchers can use while in the field to help identify bones.