Dr. Edward Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science at Hope College, has been elected president of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters.

He began his term in October, and will serve until mid September in 2006.

"Ed's election speaks of his recognized scientific accomplishments and scholarly leadership in the state of Michigan," said Dr. Jonathan Peterson, who is an associate professor of geology environmental science and chairperson of the department at Hope.

Founded in 1894, the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters is a regional professional organization that facilitates scholarly exchange through annual meetings and a quarterly journal featuring papers and news about research at Michigan colleges and universities. The academy encompasses a broad spectrum of scholarly disciplines, grouped in 27 sections ranging from administration; to biochemistry/molecular biology; to cinema studies; to health and human services; to medieval studies; to psychology; to Spanish language, literature and culture; to zoology.

More than half of the academy's current members are faculty and graduate students of supporting Michigan colleges and universities. Other members include independent scholars, scholars from other states, and people engaged in relevant research in business and government. A total of 27 colleges and universities are institutional members of the Michigan Academy, which is based at Alma College.

Hansen has been serving as a member-at-large on the academy's executive committee since 2003. He is also the leader for the academy's section in the geological sciences.

Hope hosted the academy's annual meeting in March of 2003. During the meeting, Hansen, who conducts research on sand dunes, led a special session on "The Geology and Geomorphology of the Lake Michigan Coast" that included a trip to the area dunes and presentations by specialists from Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Canada.

Hansen has taught at Hope since 1984. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and to full professor in 2000. He served as chair of the department from 1995 until 2001.

He has been conducting research on sand dunes in the area since 1998. His previous research interests emphasized the formation of the earth's crust and rocks billions of years ago, work that took him to both Sri Lanka and India. Hope students are actively involved in his research projects.

Hansen graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1978 with a B.S. in geology, and completed his doctorate in the geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago in 1983. After completing his Ph.D. he continued to work with his thesis advisor as a research associate for a year.

In addition to Hope, the institutional members are: Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Andrews University, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Concordia University, Cornerstone University, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Davenport University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Henry Ford Community College, Kalamazoo College, Lake Superior State University, Madonna University, Marygrove College, Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.