James Preston received his training in fossil preparation and archival specimen housing at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles as a volunteer under the tutelage of Alan Zdinak. He has also volunteered on the floor as a gallery interpreter, helping in his familiarization with our collections. As an active member of the Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology (AMMP), he has represented the museum at multiple meetings. Most recently, he presented a poster on repurposing soldering iron stands for use with air scribes. James holds an AS degree in Materials Science from Don Bosco Technical Institute and a BA in Anthropology from Cal State Los Angeles. Having a diverse background has helped him bring new perspectives into the field of fossil preparing.
James prepares fossils of mammals, mostly marine in the form of whales, dolphins, and pinnipeds from the Oligocene, Miocene, and Pleistocene, for use in research and display. He has accompanied the museum on location for collection and field work including an excavation of Jurassic dinosaurs. He is interested in outreach programs and often volunteers for events.