Environmental Specialist, Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU), Auckland Council
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences
He wanted to play his part in protecting the environment, says Kyle Gibson who decided to retrain and study environmental sciences after a successful career as an automotive technician.
“I’ve always loved being surrounded by the natural environment, and my childhood was mostly spent curiously searching through native forests throughout Aotearoa. This passion and curiosity for the natural world only grew stronger as I aged.
“After high school, I became qualified as an automotive engineer – a role I worked in for six years – and also as a personal trainer. But I finally decided it was time to follow my true passion and enrol to study environmental sciences. My decision was motivated by the increasing urgency of change needed in our society to protect natural ecosytems. I wanted to do something to help.”
Once he had decided to take the leap into university study and a new career, Kyle started to explore his study options and soon decided to come to AUT.
“AUT was the obvious choice for me because of the strong science programmes, and the emphasis on practical learning meant that I would graduate with relevant skills for my new career in environmental sciences.”
An enjoyable university journey
For Kyle, there were plenty of highlight throughout his time at AUT.
“I enjoyed all of my time learning at AUT. One of the highlights for me was my final-year research project. It enabled me to get a taste of scientific research, which I really enjoyed. My research project allowed me to find myself as a researcher and further cultivated my interest in scientific inquiry, while I gained skills using novel technological methods like photogrammetry and 3D modelling.
“There were a number of moments that were pivotal in amplifying my passion for science, starting from my very first semester at AUT. Key lecturers that made a great impact on me would include Professor Michael Petterson, Graham Hinchliffe, Martin Bader and Professor Sebastian Leuzinger.”
He wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s science programmes to other students.
“I’d highly recommend AUT to anyone with a passion for science, and would encourage future students to make the most of all the resources provided to them during their time at AUT.”
Living his passion
Since graduating from AUT in 2020, Kyle has now fulfilled his dream and enjoys working as an environmental specialist at Auckland Council.
“I’m part of the Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU), and our team is responsible for all water quantity data for Auckland. We test water velocity, water level, precipitation, and drought and flood risk. What I enjoy most about my role is being able to get out in the natural environment around Auckland.”
The combination of his previous career pathway and his studies at AUT proved to be the perfect foundation for his role now.
“The skills I developed during my previous career and throughout my time at AUT have made the transition into my current career a breeze. I feel like I have been well prepared.”