By Haiden Hibbert
When people asked Bruce Kingsbury why he studied snakes when he was younger, his answer was that he thought they were cool. But when, in his late 20s, he was asked the same question, he said, “It has become clear that nature, should be protected and that to do so, we needed to know how. Since then, I have focused on learning what is needed to protect wildlife and their habitats.”
From his days exploring nature surrounding his childhood home in California to his pursuit of Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in Biology, nature and wildlife conservation have been his passion. Today, Bruce is the Director of the Environmental Resources Center at Purdue Fort Wayne.
“I believe in the intrinsic value of nature — that not everything has to have direct benefit to humanity to be worthy of protection,” Bruce says. “We have impacted virtually the entire surface of the Earth, as well as its air and water. We are obligated to find a place for the other animals and plants and have habitats that are fully ecologically functional for their occupants.”
In his role, he strives to connect the community with Purdue Fort Wayne, builds collaborations between faculty and students with community partners, and serves as a spokesperson and resource on environmental topics. He also engages in research with other faculty and the students on a wide variety of projects.
A large part of what Bruce does is interact with other organizations in the community to achieve mutual goals. Locally, he works with the City of Fort Wayne and entities like ACRES Land Trust and Little River Wetlands Project. Further afield, he works with state agencies like the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, federal agencies like the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and nongovernmental organizations like The Nature Conservancy.
“Providing education [on wildlife conservation] is part of the mission of the Environmental Resources Center,” says Kingsbury. “I invite readers to become involved with us, following us on social media, subscribing to our newsletter, and attending our presentations. Perhaps, in the future, folks can even volunteer to help us with our efforts.”