Ranch & Coast Magazine

May 2023

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From Lens to Lab and Back Again G ROWING UP IN COLORADO, ED Marsh wanted to be a photographer. His father wrote for outdoor magazines and had a regular column in the Colorado Fishing and Hunting News. Marsh, himself, was an avid climber and had dreams of traveling the world, shooting images and writing articles about climbing and mountaineering. Following high school, however, Marsh did not have the money to pursue photography through college or art school. Instead, he joined the Navy with aspirations to attend the comprehensive photography school it operates in Pensacola, Florida. e school had a limited number of slots, so naturally, there was some waiting. When a spot eventually opened up, after Marsh completed boot camp in San Diego, he was off to Pensacola, where he learned to shoot all kinds of pictures, from aerial photography to movies. Upon graduation, Marsh's first assignment was at U.S. Naval Base Guam, where he was stationed for three years in the late 1970s. "I spent most of my time in helicopters—sometimes hanging out the door," Marsh, who is now 65, laughs. "We were searching for submarines, but also doing general surveillance. ere was always a Russian trawler off Guam. We'd see what antennas were being used, try to get a shot inside an open hatch." Guam is situated along what is known as "Typhoon Alley," and Marsh also took survey photos following the most intense storms. After Guam, Marsh was again stationed in San Diego, and when he left the Navy after five years of service, his next move was to use his veteran benefits in the form of the G.I. Bill to attend UC San Diego. He never lost his interest in photography, but he also has a scientific bent, and thinking of career options, he chose to study biochemistry. He was lucky enough to make a connection with Paul Saltman, one of the university's top scientists at the time. "He really mentored me. He gave me a place in his lab. I only have a bachelor's degree, but because of what I knew from working with him, it was really much more than that," Marsh recalls fondly. Focus military ED MARSH: PHOTO BY VINCENT KNAKAL ALL OTHER PHOTOGRAPHY BY ED MARSH A North County Navy veteran and biotech executive returns to his first love BY BILL ABRAMS ranchandcoast.com 38 MAY 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Ed Marsh

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