Remembering Bruce Allen

Remembering Our Co-Founder

We are greatly saddened by the untimely passing of SOS Co-Founder Bruce Allen on December 6, 2013. As we sit with grief and sorrow, we remember the many aspects of this warm, intelligent, creative man whom we will miss so very much.



Vision to Reality

Bruce and Lad for SOS  

SOS began as a glimmer in the eyes of Bruce and his good friend Lad Handelman. Their concept of a science-based approach to educating the public on the magnitude of natural oil seep pollution – and the solution – has not only taken hold but became a force in the Santa Barbara community.


Government Action

Bruce in Washington DC – 2010

In 2010, Bruce accepted an invitation from the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources to testify before Congress regarding the Environmental and Commercial Perspectives on Offshore Drilling. This trip opened several doors for SOS to educate new and influential audiences in California and Washington, DC.


Softer Side

Bruce and Poppies

As much as we at SOS respected Bruce the physicist, we so enjoyed his softer side. Bruce was a fabulous gourmet cook and wine connoisseur – often sharing his creations at our Board meetings. He was also the flower guy, who spent part of each Board meeting tending to the California poppies he planted at Co-Founder Lad Handelman’s house (Lad’s Pad) on TV Hill in Santa Barbara.


Educating the Public

Bruce the Impassioned Presenter 

Whenever any organization asked for an SOS program, Bruce was the man at the podium. His ability to communicate our purpose and mission convinced many skeptics and, at the very least, inspired many lively and entertaining debates!


Movers and Shakers

Bruce the SOS Advocate – DC 2011

Bruce accepted another invitation from the US House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee to again testify at a legislative hearing (originally planned for Sept. 2013, but postponed to 2014). This was to be Bruce’s fourth visit to Washington, DC. On previous visits he met with John Boehner – first when Mr. Boehner was the House Minority leader, the second when he was Speaker of the House.


Energy – Economics – Environment

Bruce One-on-One 

Bruce played a major role in ensuring that SOS was visible and heard at conferences throughout the state discussing the energy, economics and environmental issues as it related to the SOS message. We’ve been a sponsor, presenter, and exhibitor at these events, each giving Bruce the opportunity to educate the public and professionals in one-on-one conversations, exchanges that he relished.


Accomplished Scientist

Bruce the Physicist 

Bruce came to SOS as a physicist with 26 years of experience in spacecraft research and development. He previously worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Hughes Aircraft, and SAIC. In 1981 he founded a space research and solar energy company and in 2011, released his book on solar energy and national energy policy. Bruce also served on the Board of the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District Community Advisory Council.


Local Perspective 

Bruce’s Community Voice 

Bruce was the go-to guy for commentary on energy issues in Santa Barbara. In April 2013, for example, Bruce was on the 5-person panel for Global Warning: How Will Santa Barbara Face Climate Change, a Town Hall Meeting at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.


Saving Seabirds

Bruce the Environmentalist 

For many years Bruce served as a volunteer for the Wildlife Care Network. He would respond to a call reporting a seabird in distress, and would drive out to the site to pick up the bird and deliver it to the center for rehabilitation. He was particularly concerned with seabirds that were impacted by the natural oil seeps.


A Brilliant Man 

Bruce and the SOS Team 

Bruce was not just the Co-Founder of an active non-profit organization. He was an integral part of the close-knit team. Our future work will be in his honor, with a constant eye toward achieving the high standards he continually modeled for us. May you rest in peace dear friend.