BRUCE EPLER – Galapagos Visionary and Chronicler
Born May 15, 1947
Died March 17, 2010, Age 62
Bruce Carl Epler passed away at age 62 in his longtime residence in South Kingston, near Moonstone Beach, Rhode Island, on March 17. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Beatrice Epler of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, sisters, Vickie Epler-Thompson and Edwin Thompson of New York, Paula Epler and George Giglio of Melrose, MA, Laura and Chuck Mayou and nieces, Carly and Abby Mayou, all of Hollis, New Hampshire.
Bruce Epler, a natural resources, tourism and environmental expert, made a positive difference working to make life better for people in more than 20 countries. His love of fishing and the great outdoors coupled with his concern for economic development led him to places as diverse as Guinea Bissau, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and Somalia.
Graduated with his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. As a University of Rhode Island masters graduate in Natural Resource Economics, Bruce developed strong ties to the area as a university lecturer, a commissioner for the South Kingston Water Advisory Commission and as a consultant to the Rhode Island Economic Development Association, the Rhode Island Commercial Fisherman’s Association and the Rhode Island Seafood Council.
During a lifetime of development work his greatest contribution was to Ecuador and especially the Galapagos Islands. Whether the vehicle was URI’s Coastal Resource Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USAID, Peace Corps, the Charles Darwin Foundation or the International Development Bank, Ecuador kept calling him back. His first book, written with Alan White in 1972, Galapagos Guidebook, was also the first authoritative guide for visitors to the islands that made Charles Darwin famous. Subsequently, Bruce played an important role in the Galapagos as an advocate for smart growth. His vision for the islands generated policies that so far have been successful in maintaining balance between a growing population, a booming tourism industry, and a very unique but fragile ecosystem. Bruce’s final book on the Galapagos chronicles, for the first time in an expansive manner, the human events on the islands mostly known for their flora and fauna. The story of the islands is one that Bruce, an exceptional story teller, never tired of telling.
Bruce Epler will be remembered on June 12 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM on Moonstone Beach, Rhode Island. Afterward, family and friends will gather at The Cove, a restaurant in Charlestown, Rhode Island, to celebrate Bruce’s life. Contact Vickie Epler-Thompson at Laleopard7@gmail.com or at 646-734-0141 for details.