Richard D. Hansen, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Hansen is the Director of the Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala, leading archaeological and ecological research for 29 years. He is currently the Chief Senior Scientist for the Institute for Mesoamerican Research at Idaho State University. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Anthropological Research & Environmental Studies (FARES). He graduated with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from UCLA (1992) where he was selected for five years by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Graduate Fellow and a Jacob Javits Fellow from all U.S. college and university students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He was also the UCLA Distinguished Scholar (1988), Fulbright Scholar (1990), and the UCLA Outstanding Graduate Student (1991). He was awarded the National Order of the Cultural by Guatemalan President Oscar Berger in 2005. Dr. Hansen has conducted multi-disciplinary research in northern Guatemala since 1978 with scholars from 52 universities and research institutions. His team has published 176 scientific papers and 397 technical reports and scientific presentations. Hansen's studies have identified some of the largest and earliest ancient Maya cities, and his work has been an important contribution to the developmental history of Maya civilization. He has identified the largest pyramids in the world, the first "freeway system" in the world, and the Cradle of Maya Civilization. His work has recently been featured on the Learning Channel, the Discovery, ABC's 20/20, 60 Minutes (Australia), ABC's Good Morning America and Primetime Live, CNN, The History Channel, BBC, and National Geographic's Dawn of the Maya and many national and international television and major motion picture networks. He and his wife, Jody, live with their children in Idaho and Guatemala.