Bruce graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Geography in 1979. In May 1980, he began his 29-year career with the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Department, Oregon District Office. The office is now known as USGS Oregon Water Science Center. Over his career he specialized in the fields of hydrology, geographic information systems, database design, and development and water use.
He began serving on the Oregon Geographic Names Board (OGNB) as an advisor in 1994 and became a board member in 2009. He has been president since 2017.
Since his retirement, he has enjoyed volunteering his time to the OGNB, worked as an Environmental Compliance Review Specialist for FEMA, and delves into geographic research projects that interest him. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities.