Aaron Doering is an associate professor in the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota. He holds the Bonnie Westby Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology, is a co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab, is a Laureate of the prestigious humanitarian Tech Awards, and is a fellow for the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. Doering received his PhD in instructional systems and technology and a masters in geography. This mesh of technology and geography has motivated him to develop adventure learning – an approach to designing and developing online learning that has revolutionized how students learn and teachers teach within K-20 classrooms around the world. Doering is the PI and education director behind the GoNorth! Adventure Learning Series that has delivered education on sustainability and climate change to over 3 million students by dogsledding over 3,000 miles throughout the circumpolar Arctic from 2004 – 2010.
Doering gives hundreds of talks a year on adventure learning and motivation and his academic writing is focused on how adventure learning impacts the classroom experience, designing and developing online learning environments, and K-12 technology integration. Doering has received millions of dollars in grants; has published over 60 journal articles, books, book chapters and conference proceedings; and is the co-author of the book Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Currently, he is the PI of four grants: Earthducation, with support from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment; Explore15, with support from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation; What’s Climate Change to You? with support from the National Science Foundation; and GeoThentic, with support from the National Geographic Society.
Doering first realized a need for a project like Earthducation many years ago when traveling throughout the Arctic. He saw a disconnect between the education students were receiving and what they wanted to learn about their culture and sustainability. Doering knew there was a need for a project that investigated the intersection between education and sustainability throughout the world to create a global narrative educating and engaging people of all ages.
Doering has always had a passion for the environment and education from his childhood days of growing up on a farm in southern MN. He always realized that our personal actions have a huge impact on our environment and that we need to be cognizant of how we are all interconnected. From his days working at the National Geographic Society to the thousands of miles he has spent crossing the circumpolar Arctic, Doering’s mission in life is to make a difference in the world through education.