Jesse Chapman-Bruschini – Staff Member
I wish I could say that my love of the ocean came from growing up by the seashore. The truth is that I didn’t even see the ocean until I was 10. My grandfather guided me in all things environmental and helped me develop a love for exploring nature early on. But as a landlocked Midwesterner, the oceans seemed more than far away to me. They were intimidating, exotic and inspiring. My academic focus was on linguistics and I worked for many years in bilingual advertising and corporate public relations for Latin American markets. Then in 1990, I was asked to be part of a documentary film expedition to Cocos Island, Costa Rica to serve as interpreter and crew aboard a 112′ schooner. The interpreter role was familiar to me but I had only the captain’s assurance that I would be able to serve as crew. This three-month gig in such a wild and awe-inspiring place left an indelible mark–a deep connection and concern for the world’s oceans and their inhabitants.
My work since Cocos has been centered on wildlife conservation. A long and winding road has brought me to Blue Ocean Institute. I’ve worked with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Latin America Program, WCS’ State of the Wild book series, Wildlife Trust (now EcoHealth Alliance) and the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science. My positions in these organizations have given me an eclectic background in communications, publications and non-profit management. At Blue Ocean I wade into the middle of great conservation projects and new initiatives every day.
There’s a phrase in Spanish, “qué vueltas da la vida” which means, “what turns life takes.” Indeed! When I remember my first glimpse of the ocean at age 10, I’m so amazed that it is now my job to help protect it.