Earthducation Expedition Team Leaders

Project Team

Cassie Scharber

Cassie Scharber, PhD

Co-Project Investigator; Assistant Professor, Learning Technologies; Co-Director, LT Media Lab

Cassie is an assistant professor of Learning Technologies and Co-Director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota. Her research explores the nexus of literacy, power, and technology and the possibilities technology offers in aiding the transformation of teaching and learning.

Cassie is currently the co-editor of the Digital Literacies column for the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacies. She is also a co-investigator of a research project called DigMe that focuses on understanding at‐risk adolescents' engagement within a project-based, technology-rich program at a local urban high school.

What is education to you?

For me, education is literacy. In the words of Paulo Freire, a person needs to be "able to read the word and the world". I prefer to define literacy within a New Literacies perspective and believe that education, as well as literacy, is contextual, cultural, and constantly changing.

Cassie at UMN

Charles Miller

Charles Miller, PhD

Co-Project Investigator; Associate Professor, Learning Technologies; Co-Director, LT Media Lab

Charlie is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota in the Learning Technologies program. His research explores opportunities to transform the instructional experience through design, bridging the gap between aesthetic learning experiences and contemporary interaction design. With more than 14 years of new media design, development, and research experience, Charlie has received design awards from organizations including USA Today, The Washington Post, American Scientist, Netscape, IBM, Adobe, the International Association of Science and Technology for Education, and Yahoo! For his work on projects ranging from environmental expeditions and political campaigns to photographers and educational initiatives. Recently, Aaron and Charlie's development work received top honors two years in a row at the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Instructional Design Showcase ($100,000+ funding category).

Charlie has led the design and development of 17 online learning environments and more than 110 websites, and has published over 50 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Currently, he is a co-PI on three funded grants: AvenueDHH, an online reading and writing e-assessment environment for deaf and hard-of-hearing children (funding from Stepping Stones, USDOE); Explore 15, a user driven adventure learning network for teen explorers across the US (funding from Best Buy Children's Foundation); and Earthducation (funding from UMN Institute on the Environment). Charlie serves as the Chair of the Computer and Internet Applications in Education SIG at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference, the world's leading education conference.

Design-wise, Charlie's future efforts are focused on the advancement of information visualization in online learning and the exploration of mobile design opportunities using the iPad with special education audiences; research-wise, the journey continues…

Charlie's Photo Gallery
Charlie at UMN

Justin Evidon

Justin Evidon

Field Media Specialist, LT Media Lab

Justin is the photographer, videographer and media relations representative for the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota. An American citizen born in Germany, he attended the International School of Hamburg until 1998, when he returned to the US with his family and subsequently began his studies at the University of Minnesota in 2001.

Completing a degree in German Studies in 2006, Justin remained on campus as an employee in various roles, including IT professional and photographer. His experience in outdoor adventure, wedding, sport, and commercial photography have all provided important lessons that inform his current work, and his IT background, the skill to be able to disseminate his work from the studio, street, or backcountry.

What is education to you?

Education is the cornerstone of life. Through education we are able to better communicate with others, and improve our understanding of the world we live in.

Brad Hosack

Bradford Hosack

New Media Developer, LT Media Lab

Brad Hosack is an award-winning designer with over 14 years of experience in the field. Brad is currently leading the entire design and development effort for the Earthducation project. He works full time in the Learning Technologies Media Lab as the Lead New Media Developer, responsible for creating all designs, wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and alpha versions for all lab projects.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Brad is a PhD student in the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota where his research focuses on how to design contemporary online learning environments emphasizing the learner's need to consume content. An approach that is integral in the creation of inviting and aesthetically pleasing designs that are functionally effective allowing for minimal effort by the user while maximizing their learning experience through efficient knowledge transfer.

What is education to you?

Education is the process of deconstructing what you know, analyzing the parts you have currently, then reassembling them by adding in new pieces along the way. The true challenge is learning what to do with the pieces you have left over.

Jeni Henrickson

Jeni Henrickson

PhD Student, Learning Technologies

Jeni is a PhD student in the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota, a graduate research assistant for the Learning Technologies Media Lab, and an interactive and instructional designer. She is interested in researching and designing adventure learning environments, in exploring the uses of mobile and other technologies in the K-12 classroom, and in getting kids outdoors, actively interacting with the natural environment.

In 2011, Jeni published her first iPhone app, on Adventure Learning. She created the app in an LT App Design course taught by Charlie and Aaron. The app is based on Aaron's adventure learning framework and showcases many of the successful adventure learning projects over the years.

What is education to you?

For me, education is life. I have learned and continue to learn equally from my informal interactions and the formal classroom. My teachers have been formal educators, friends, colleagues, family members, complete strangers, and the natural world. I believe it's critical that from an early age we work to engage kids in the beauty of learning and the power of quiet observation, and to imbue them with the confidence to ask questions, believe in their ideas, and take action.

Patrick Johnson

Patrick Johnson

Technology Director, LT Media Lab

Patrick is the Technology Director for the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota and received his bachelors degree in Economics and Spanish studies, and is pursuing a master's of education in Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota.

A keen interest in computers drove Patrick into the IT field and has placed him in a position to make a difference to educators. By making technology support easy, and having an open mind to the needs of educators, he can find unique solutions for their technology needs. Patrick hopes that with this approach educators can embrace and use technology in their curriculum, furthering their ability to maximize their impact on students.

What is education to you?

For me, education is learning to learn. I feel as we go through our early, more traditional, school based education we train ourselves to be successful later in life by training ourselves to learn later in life. Education is not something that happens only early in life, it is a process that continues for us each day.

Partners + Sponsors

Institute On The Environment National Geographic Education Smith Optics Hilleberg, The Tent Maker Sherpa Adventure Gear Fenix Lighting LT Media Lab