President’s Circle Member Bruce Colburn

Written by Sarah Ikemoto, Development Manager | Published: June 12, 2023

President’s Circle members contribute annual gifts of $1,000 or more, providing the financial foundation for our educational and advocacy efforts. Development Manager Sarah Ikemoto caught up with President’s Circle member Bruce Colburn in April. We are grateful to Bruce and all of our President’s Circle members for their generosity and commitment to our mission!

Science led Bruce Colburn to Population Connection, as well as his deep concern for environmental protection. Bruce recalls:

I was working as an artist and translator in Paris, so I reached out to the NGO Démographie Responsable, a French equivalent of Population Connection, and offered to do pro-bono translation. They needed their documents translated from French to English so they could work with their international partners. Working for Démographie Responsable—translating articles, press releases, and interviews into English—allowed me to donate thousands of dollars of services while also learning about the complexities between human population and the environment.

Translating familiarized him with cutting-edge population science:

I learned the science underpinning key concepts like overshoot, carrying capacity, and ecological footprint. I read with amazement the article “The Climate Mitigation Gap” by Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas, which named and measured the ecological stress of uncurbed population growth. It was quite an education. It seemed obvious that environmental degradation (biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution) was the single biggest threat to humanity. I really think reaching a sustainable population is THE defining generational challenge: The stakes are sky-high.

Equally obvious, it seemed to Bruce, was that our environmental challenges stemmed from a single root problem: human overpopulation. “The more of us there are, the more stress we put on the planet’s resources.”

Bruce wanted to become part of the solution and was inspired to work toward population stabilization. When he moved back to the United States in 2020, he joined Population Connection as a member of our President’s Circle. He found us through a web search, looking for a population-oriented organization that focused on “inclusivity, solutions, and a can-do attitude.” Later, deepening his involvement, Bruce attended Population Education’s Leadership Institute in 2022, becoming a volunteer teacher trainer. Bruce enjoyed the Leadership Institute, sharing that it “is what learning should always be: fun activities, common sense, and purpose.”

Bruce is a painter who works in watercolor and oil and a sculptor who focuses on the themes of environmental protection, climate change, and sustainable population. His work encourages people to cherish the beauty of our natural world and to acknowledge the urgency of the challenges that threaten to destroy it. You can view a selection of his pieces on his website ( and at the bottom of this page.

We’re grateful to Bruce for his continued commitment to protecting the planet we all call home and for supporting our work as a member of the President’s Circle!

If you would like to learn more about joining the President’s Circle, please contact one of our development officers at We’d love to hear from you!

Eight (number, in billions, of people on the planet)
Stressed Ecosystem
Changing Directions
Five (number of centuries it takes plastic to decompose)
Branch With Plastic Bottle