Richard Schneider’s career as a conservation biologist has evolved at the interface between conservation science and conservation policy. His professional training began at the University of Saskatchewan, where he obtained a BSc in biology, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. In 1992, he obtained a PhD at the University of Guelph, studying wildlife epidemiology. This was followed by a postdoc at the University of Alberta that focused on the interaction between wolves, bison, and disease in northern Canada.
In the early stages of his career, Richard worked as a biological consultant, supporting government and industry conservation initiatives in different parts of Canada. The various species he worked on included martens in Newfoundland, Ontario, and Alaska; black-tailed prairie dogs in Saskatchewan; and burrowing owls, fishers, and caribou in Alberta.
In the early 2000s, Richard served as executive director for the northern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. In this capacity, he became heavily involved in provincial land-use policy and planning, including the development of the Alberta Land-Use Framework. He also led a campaign for the establishment of new protected areas in northeastern Alberta (now the site of the world’s largest boreal protected area network).
Since 2006, Richard has been a senior scientist with the Integrated Landscape Management Lab—now the Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair—at the University of Alberta. In this capacity, he has conducted applied research on industrial cumulative effects, the selection of protected areas in northern Alberta, and the recovery of woodland caribou. In recent years, his research has focused on the ecological effects of climate change and methods for climate adaptation. Richard has published numerous peer-reviewed papers as well as many lay publications and a book on ecosystem-based forest management (see Google Scholar).
Richard retired in 2020 and since then has serving as the volunteer editor of Nature Alberta Magazine.