Mike in a
helicopter in Hawaii, on my way to study Mauna Loa volcano
It was in graduate school, however, that I met and worked with the men who had the
most influence on my professional life: Bruce Murray, Robert Sharp and Eugene Shoemaker.
Murray was my research advisor, and the four years I was his student were the most
exciting and productive of my career. Sharp is a living legend, one of the greatest
geologists of this century, and his guidance by example, in particular in jointly
conducted research, was the most important to how I developed as a professional scientist.
Shoemaker is the "father" of planetary geology, and I was fortunate to be the teaching
assistant for his lunar geology course during the first few years after the lunar
landings completely changed our view of the moon. From Gene I discovered it was okay to
have fun while other people paid you to work.
A Little More About Me
I am a native Californian, born in Burbank, a suburb of Los Angeles, (at a hospital
right across the street from the Walt Disney Studios), raised in North Hollywood, Studio
City, and Van Nuys, all in the San Fernando Valley north of LA, and educated at Berkeley
and Caltech. I have only lived outside the state once, for 11 years when I taught at
Arizona State University in Tempe (a suburb of Phoenix). I moved back to California after
I left ASU in May 1991. Today, I live near the ocean in La Jolla, California, a suburb of
San Diego. The offices of my company, Malin Space Science Systems, are nearby.
I enjoy my work very much. Some of the pictures included may indicate why.
and saluting like an astronaut in the Olympus mountain range in Antarctica
There is a real danger in having a job that is as much fun as mine: I am "addicted" to
my work. I don't have any hobbies because my job lets me do many things I might otherwise
do as a hobby (for example, I make computer animations and go hiking and camping). I do ]
enjoy fly fishing and sailing, but haven't figured out a way to relate this to my work