Richard is a specialist on the early Maya and is the Director of the Mirador Basin Project and a leading archaeological research and scientific studies for 40 years, and the founder and president of the Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies (FARES). Hansen graduated with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from UCLA in 1992, as an Outstanding Graduate Student and with highest honors. He previously held a double major B.S. degree (cum laude) in Spanish and Archaeology from Brigham Young University in 1978, and a M.S. degree in Anthropology in 1984. Hansen’s currently involves scholars from 66 universities and research institutions from throughout the world.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. He was Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University for 8 years and was Senior Scientist at the Institute for Mesoamerican Research at ISU. Prior to that, he was Assistant Research Scientist (Level IV) at the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics for 12 years.
He received the Achievement Award and was named Environmentalist of the Year in Latin America by the 161,000 members of the Latin Trade Bravo Business Association and Co-organizer of several major Maya exhibit in museums, 27 films including National Geographic, Discovery Channel 3 Net. He was the principal consultant for Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.
As a project, his team has currently published 2 books, 229 scientific papers, abstracts, and 826 technical reports and mapped, excavated and studied more than 51 ancient and largest cities in the Mirador Basin in the Peten and Central America.