Portrait of Dan Crane

Dan Crane, Ph.D.

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

Ph. D. in Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1991

B.S. in Chemistry, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1986

Technical Translator’s Certificate in German, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1986

Contact Information

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

Summer 1996—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, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
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.

Music & Theatre

AOM Instructors

Academy of Music