Mastcam-Z
Photo of Darian Dixon

Darian Dixon

Malin Space Science Systems

After sitting at his desk as an undergraduate watching coverage of the Curiosity Rover launch, Darian Dixon knew what he needed to do. He had long dreamed of working in the space industry and contributing to human exploration of the cosmos and right then and there he decided he would change his major and pursue that childhood dream. At University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, his hometown university, he changed his major to geology and never looked back. He earned his B.S. in Geology in 2015 and moved next to Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. There he studied under Mastcam-Z Co-I Dr. Melissa Rice and had the opportunity to attend Mars-2020 team meetings, contribute to the Mastcam-Z team, and realize his childhood dreams by earning his M.S. in Planetary Geology in 2018. He is now an MSL MMM operator and the Mastcam-Z Data Management (ZDM) Lead at Malin Space Science Systems in sunny San Diego. Outside of the thrilling world of Mars exploration, Darian is an avid gardener (ask him if you want any bananas. PLEASE. His banana tree is too prolific. Seriously. See the pic.), loving husband, dog owner, gamer, rabid basketball fan, and gym rat. Darian is also a STEM ambassador who does school speaking events to encourage young students of color from underprivileged backgrounds to not be afraid of forging a path in STEM as he has.