Robert L. Hoover received his A. B., M. A., and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, with a specialty in the archaeology of California. He has taught at Stanford Univerity and was a professor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo from 1970 until his retirement in 1998. Since 1976, he has specialized in Spanish colonial archaeology, serving continuously as director of the Archaeological Field School at Mission San Antonio de Padua for over 30 years and training some 500 students. Dr. Hoover has also excavated at Missions Santa Ines, La Purisima, Santa Barbara, and at the Presidio of Santa Barbara. He is the recipient of the Award of Distinction from the California Council for the Promotion of History and the Norman Neuerburg Award of the California Mission Studies Association.
Dr. Hoover was a member of the State Historical Resources Commission for 18 years, from 1984 to 2002, serving three administrations. During this time he was instrumental in implementing the California Register of Historic Resources through the Office of Administrative Law and in establishing an additonal Archaeological Information Center in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties operated by the Yurok Tribe. He is past president of the California Mission Studies Association and has published numerous times on the topics of prehistoric and historic archaeology of California in English, German, Spanish. and Portuguese. Hoover has completed some 300 environmental projects for Federal, State, and local governments and for private entities. He is a member of numerous local, state, regional, national, and international organizations, including being an elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland He currently serves on the boards of the Santa Barbara Mission Archive/Library, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Califonia Missions Foundation.