Ed Walser - Board Member

“My family moved to Wilmington in the summer of 1966, when I was nine years old.  The New Hanover County Library Bookmobile came to the neighborhood our first week here, and the first books I borrowed were the Golden Guide’s Seashells of the World and Seashores.  I was hooked on the sea from that moment on.  My family fished, shrimped, and clammed for both pleasure and sustenance. My love for marine biology and the ocean guided my education and early career, and I am thrilled that it is coming to figure prominently in my life once more.”

Ed spent the first nine years of his career in sea-going oceanographic research, which led to a strong interest in hydrographic mapping and environmental measuring systems development, and later to work supporting satellite oceanography at NASA.  He transitioned to supporting NASA public/private partnership programs that fostered the growth of the then nascent commercial satellite remote sensing industry and has spent over 24 years working in various imagery programs for the U.S. Government and industry.

Over a 13-year period with MITRE, a federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC), Ed led that organization’s assistance to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s efforts to acquire (totaling ~$4.5 billion) and integrate satellite imagery collected by U.S. commercial constellation operators into the Nation’s defense and intelligence operations. 

As the “NewSpace” and broader geospatial intelligence (GEOINT)industries began emerging around 2010, Ed assisted NGA’s efforts to understand and develop strategies to capitalize on the disruptive capabilities that many startups were developing. More recently, Ed began consulting directly to these companies, advising them in shaping their products and services to better meet U.S. Government customer requirements.  

Ed became interested in consumer aerial drones and new computer-based photogrammetric techniques, which he leveraged to design and build (with his son, who now leads software engineering at Blue Robotics) an underwater coral reef mapping system for an environmental consulting client.  He and that client continue working to evolve that system today.

Ed is a North Carolina native, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a B.S. in Marine Biology and an M.S. in Coastal Biology.