Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza

NEH Fourteenth Colony Project Director and California missions content specialist and Principal Investigator for this Internet resource collection is an archaeologist, writer, and photographer who has explored the length and breadth of Mexico, Central America, Europe, and the US Southwest.

About the Director

Dr. Rubén Mendoza is a founding faculty member and Professor of Archaeology and Social and Behavioral Sciences at the California State University, Monterey Bay.  As an archaeologist, writer, and photographer, he has explored the length and breadth of Mexico, Central America, Europe, and the US Southwest documenting historic sites and collections. Dr. Mendoza has directed major archaeological investigations at the historic Spanish missions of San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo, San Miguel Arcángel, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, and the 16th century Ex-Convento de la Concepcion in Puebla, Mexico. His recent efforts at the Royal Presidio of Monterey resulted in the discovery of the earliest Fray Junípero Serra-era Christian churches in California dated to 1770 and 1771-72, and for that work he was awarded the California Preservation Foundation Preservation Design Award for 2009. As Project Manager to the San Juan Bautista Mission Conservation Program, Dr. Mendoza is charged with professional oversight of the mission restoration effort.

Dr. Mendoza has published some 116 academic books, scholarly articles, book chapters, reviews, and hundreds of photographs.  His contributions to “furthering the preservation and protection of the California Missions” was acknowledged by the California Mission Curators and Directors Conference with the granting of the Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén Award for 2010.  Since 2009, Dr. Mendoza has collaborated with publisher David McLaughlin on a host of publishing projects ranging from The California Missions Source Book (2009) and The California Missions’ Timeline (2009) through to Fermín Francisco de Lasuén: An Illustrated Timeline (2012).  Dr. Mendoza’s participation in the 2011 NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, American Material Culture: Nineteenth-Century New York, prompted the development of the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers on the Monterey Bay.