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Born in Manchester, England, Robin Mills grew up Canada and New York state. From an early age, he was interested in artifacts and archeology. He earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University in 1989, and moved to Alaska shortly thereafter to attend graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He completed his master's degree in archeology in 1992 and his Ph.D in 1998. As a student, he worked for various federal agencies and the private contracting firm of Nothern Land Use Research (NLUR), which provided him a variety of fieldwork experiences. Under the guidance of John Cook, Robin became involved in historic archeology at Coldfoot, a historic mining settlement along on the Daltong Highway, which became the focus of his Ph.D dissertation ("Historical Archeology of Alaska Placer Gold Mining Settlements") and UAF archeology field schools. Robin has continued his concentration on historical archeology and historical geography of interior Alaska and mining camps by doing salvage excavations along the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, publishing articles about his research findings, teaching in the Anthropology Department at UAF, and since 1999 has been Historical Archeologist for the Fairbanks District Office of the Bureau of Land Management in Fairbanks, Alaska.