Michael David Hicks of Sunland, CA passed away on July 30, 2023, at 59 years of age. He worked at JPL as a NASA postdoc and then as research scientist from 1998 until 2022. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Michael earned degrees from Boston University and a PhD in Lunar and Planetary Science at the University of Arizona. His research specialty was the physical properties of comets and asteroids. He served on the science teams of the DART Project, the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) Project, the Dawn Mission, and the NASA Deep Space 1 Mission. He was the author of over 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Michael’s passion for science was coupled with a deep appreciation of art. He pursued projects in visual media, from woodblock prints to oil painting to metalwork, and he played the ukulele. His performances were a regular occurrence during observing runs at Mount Palomar.
He is survived by his father Richard, six brothers and sisters, daughter Julia, and ex-wife Brunella Bigi.