Ryan Arash Marsh


Ryan Arash Marsh is a first generation Iranian-American naturalist and organizer living in Fairbanks, Alaska. He grew up in coastal California amidst the oaks and chaparral of a rapidly urbanizing landscape. He found a deeper connection to our planet at college amidst the redwoods at Humboldt State University where he pursued degrees in Anthropology and Zoology while doing plant and bird surveys as summer gigs.
He lived for several years in Madagascar, first with the Peace Corps and then as a graduate student researcher, earning a M.Sc. degree in in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development through the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison along the way. For his Ph.D. research at UC Berkeley, Ryan worked in Madagascar on the social-ecological issues of biodiversity conservation in the tropics. His research utilized interdisciplinary approaches to address resource conflict and bridge the human/environment divide, drawing on theory from political ecology, conservation biology, and science studies, amongst others.

Since 2015 he has lived in Interior Alaska, spending his summers connecting people to the land by leading natural history explorations in the Denali backcountry. He managed the Arctic program for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, working to maintain protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge under the Trump Administration.
His current focus includes climate justice and decolonization of conservation in Alaska, working to envision a fossil fuel free Alaska rooted in the millennia-old relationships to land that have been built here over the generations. He is also an avid birder and is enthralled with the lingering twilight of the short Northern winter days.