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Robert Hoffpauir, 59; Cal State Northridge Geography Professor


Robert Hoffpauir, a longtime geography professor at Cal State Northridge who headed his department's graduate studies program, has died. He was 59.

Hoffpauir, a resident of Tehachapi, was killed Tuesday in a Lancaster traffic accident on his way to campus.

Colleagues said he was a popular instructor who had a deep passion for other cultures and for traveling. Hoffpauir specialized in cultural geography, which analyzes how humans affect the landscape with buildings, farming, manufacturing and other activities, said Antonia Hussey, head of the geography department.

"He was very highly regarded by our students," Hussey said Wednesday. "We've been receiving e-mails all morning."

Hoffpauir had been a CSUN instructor since 1971 and was appointed to run the graduate studies program about eight years ago. He recently co-published a paper on the weaving tradition in Mexico, examining how villagers use a plant commonly found in the landscape to create fiber for their craft, Hussey said.

Hoffpauir traveled widely in Europe, China, Nepal and Central America, and used his travels to take photographs for his classes, friends said. "He had a joyful sense of life, and he loved to see new places," Hussey said.

He obtained his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

CSUN will hold a memorial service on a date to be announced, Hussey said.

Funeral arrangements are pending. A list of survivors was not available.

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