Kurtis Blaikie-Birkigt is the most senior archaeologist on the Tree Time Services staff and holds the title of Senior Project Archaeologist. Kurtis is responsible for providing archaeological assessments and mitigations for our forestry and oilfield clients.
Kurtis is highly qualified to work as an archaeologist in the boreal forest. He has been working as a permit archaeologist in Alberta's boreal forest since 2005. But, in reality, Kurtis has been preparing for this work all his life.
He grew up in Sherwood Park but that didn't keep Kurtis' parents from cultivating his love of the outdoors. From an early age Kurtis could be found camping, fishing, and hunting year round. This real-life experience, especially winter camping on his uncle's trap line in the Swan Hills, proved to be great background research for his future studies.
In his teen years, Kurtis was exposed to archaeology and saw it as a way to combine his love of the outdoors with his interest in past technologies and history. This led him to pursue a university education in anthropology. He studied enthusiastically but also took the time to participate in several leadership positions in student organizations. To broaden his experience, Kurtis studied at the Baikal field school in Siberia as part of a team excavating a bronze age cemetery site in the summer of 2000. In 2001 Kurtis was awarded a BA (Anthropology) with Distinction from the University of Alberta. But his education didn't stop there.
During the pursuit of his master's degree in anthropology, Kurtis expanded his knowledge and experience and focused his studies on the late pre-contact period on the northwest plains, parkland, and boreal regions of Alberta. Kurtis completed the first graduate thesis on the Bodo Bison Skulls Archaeological Site and was awarded an MA (Anthropology) from the University of Alberta in 2005.
From 2005-2008 Kurtis worked as a project archaeologist for Alberta Western Heritage. Kurtis managed large multi-year heritage management programs for several forestry and oilfield companies in central and northeastern Alberta.
In 2008 Tree Time Services recruited Kurtis to lead our new archaeology division. While Kurtis already had considerable experience and knowledge regarding the inner workings of forestry companies, we exposed him to the intricacies of our silviculture work and nursery operations to turn him into an expert.
Since joining Tree Time Services, Kurtis has landed several clients with his obvious enthusiasm for archaeology, his deep understanding of forestry and oil field planning and development, and his focus on keeping costs down without sacrificing quality.
On his days off, Kurtis works in his garden with his wife and two small children. He also keeps up on academic archaeology, and is an active member of the local archaeological association.