Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.
Dr. Kyle Knopff is a senior wildlife biologist at Golder Associates in Calgary. He specializes in achieving wildlife conservation by assessing environmental impacts, identifying appropriate mitigation measures, and developing management plans for a wide variety of development projects, especially in the oil and gas, mining, power, and residential land development industries. He works with a wide variety of wildlife, with a particular focus on primates and large carnivores. His work on different development projects has taken him around the world, and most recently he has been working in Brazil to define impacts and develop conservation action plans after a large tailings dam failure. Throughout his career, Kyle has worked closely with government, industry, academic institutions, and environmental organizations to provide innovative solutions to complex problems pertaining to wildlife conservation and management.
Constantly meeting interesting people that challenged me with new ideas (and Jim Paterson’s Hawaiian shirts).
If you could give one piece of advice to an undergraduate completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?
Volunteer for a few months to help out on a research program during your undergraduate – the experience is incredibly valuable.
I really enjoyed the behavioural ecology classes. Gaining a good appreciation of how evolution can affect behavior of primates, other animals, and people gave me a new perspective on how the world works.
My career has evolved to focus on applied ecology and wildlife management. I have the pleasure of working in a great diversity of places, with a wide variety of species, and on many different projects and conservation problems. My foundation in primatology has come in handy many times when working on projects in Africa and South America, where primates were often among the species of greatest conservation concern.
I have the opportunity to help shape major development projects to achieve better outcomes for wildlife
The foundation in ecology, primate behavior, and conservation biology that I obtained at the University of Calgary was the perfect educational basis for the job I have now.