Dan Crane, Ph.D.

Dan Crane, Ph.D.

Special Assistant to the Provost, Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies & Professor of Chemistry

Ph. D. in Chemistry at University of California, Santa Barbara

B.S. in Chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Technical Translator’s Certificate in German at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Nazareth Hall, N3129
3003 Snelling Ave. N
St Paul, MN 55113



Academic Appointments

1991–present—Northwestern College & University of Northwestern – Saint Paul

2000–present—Professor of Chemistry

1995–2000—Associate Professor of Chemistry

1991–1995—Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Summers 1993–2006—Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Summer1996—Visiting Research Assistant, University of Minnesota

1990–1991—Lecturer in Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, Erie

May 1989—Visiting Research Assistant, Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany

1987–1989—Research Assistant, University of California, Santa Barbara

1986–1988—Teaching Assistant, University of California, Santa Barbara, General Chemistry and Honors General Chemistry

1985–1986—Teaching Assistant, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, General and Organic Chemistry Laboratories

Summer 1985—Summer Undergraduate Researcher, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

College Administration and Program Development

2022–present—Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies
2022–present—Special Assistant to the Provost
2014–2022—Dean of the College of Behavioral and Natural Sciences
2002–2011—Chair, Science & Mathematics
2011–2014—Chair, Mathematics & Engineering

In the past, I have taught General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Introduction to Scientific Thought. More recently, I have been teaching only General Chemistry.

Research Interests

My research interests in chemistry revolve around misunderstood or poorly-explained concepts in lower-level chemistry textbooks. Two examples are the nature of buffer solutions and the formulation of allowed molecular orbitals—why are some configurations allowed and some are forbidden?

A fun thing I do with students is a different type of research—applied physics/engineering—related to maximizing a rider’s efficiency by minimizing rolling resistance on a bicycle.

Hobbies and Interests

I like reading, woodworking, and bicycling.