Moses Milazzo was born on and grew up on an almost-self-sustaining, off-the-grid ranch on the border of the Navajo Reservation, between Flagstaff and Winslow, Arizona. Meteor Crater was visible as a distant mesa. Moses attended elementary school on the reservation and high school in Flagstaff. The Milazzo ranch’s northern Arizona desert sky was so pristine and clear that the Milky Way was usually bright enough to light his morning path to the bus stop (light pollution is encroaching even on this isolated ranch). From very early in life, Moses was fascinated with mathematics and in the second-grade decided to become a mathematics teacher. During high school, he noticed that the teachers he connected with best had life experiences outside of teaching and so he decided to study a science of some sort before teaching.
Moses attended Northern Arizona University for a few of years while he dabbled in mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and teaching. While Moses attended NAU, he worked at the U.S. Geological Survey providing computer support and mosaicing Magellan RADAR images of Venus. When he decided to get his act together and finish school, Moses moved to Tucson to finish his B.S. in mathematics and joined the Planetary Image Research Laboratory at the University of Arizona working with the Galileo SSI team planning, processing, and interpreting images of the Jovian moons. When he completed his B.S. in mathematics, Moses stayed at the University of Arizona to pursue a Ph.D. in planetary sciences. For his dissertation, he studied thermal remote sensing of endogenic activity at Io (lots!) and Mars (not so much!). After completing his Ph.D., Moses joined the MRO/HiRISE calibration and targeting teams. After working with the HiRISE team for several years, Moses moved to Flagstaff to rejoin the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. Last year he took a year off from science to teach mathematics and computer science at a local middle and high school. Moses is back at the Astrogeology Science Center working on HiRISE calibration, image processing and analysis software development, and CubeSat mission development while also teaching high school robotics.
The rest of the year you can find him tweeting at @OtherOrbScience