Aaron Doering (USA) - Education Director, Team Member
Click here if you would like to send Aaron a note of encouragement or would just like to say 'Hello' while he is on the expedition.
Aaron is a professor at the University of Minnesota where he teaches courses related to how technology can be used to enhance learning within K-16 classrooms. He has extensive experience in the development and delivery of educational content via the Internet. In his capacity as a consultant to the National Geographic Society, Doering has developed multiple educational websites and learning environments. With a Ph.D. in instructional systems and technology and a M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, Aaron’s latest research study analyzed factors that make an education course in technology successful, how students' envision the use and need for technology, and how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to enhance learning within science and social studies curricula.
Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, Aaron taught middle and high school social studies in Rochester, MN taking students to more than 17 countries in order to study the physical and cultural geography of the area. His love for geography stem from his roots farming roots, as he was raised on a farm in southern Minnesota. Currently a resident of St. Paul (a big city), Aaron misses the solitude and peacefulness of rural living.
In his spare time Aaron tinkers with his Jeep Wrangler, plays fetch with his dog, and runs marathons. Always laughing, Aaron is a fun guy to be around, which makes him a great team member! Aaron did not ease into the ranks as a Arctic explorer – he busted it! His first expedition was the 6 month, 2000 + mile dogsled expedition Arctic Transect 2004.
Interview with Aaron Doering
Name: Aaron Doering
What is your favorite food?
My mom’s homemade jam – I eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar!
What kind of music do you like?
I like all forms of music - from pop/rock to country. My favorite band is the "Counting Crows" and my favorite song is "Mr. Jones."
Hobbies and Interests
Running is my favorite hobby. I have been running marathons for many years. It is a great stress reliever, an excellent way to stay in shape, and an excellent opportunity to have time with friends while doing something you love.
I enjoy working with technology, reading, and writing which compliments my work very well.
I also enjoy spending time outside as well as traveling whenever I get the opportunity.
Favorite classes or subjects in school
My favorite classes and subject has always been geography. It is where I have always had some excellent instructors and where the subject has complimented my passion for the landscape. Learning geography has also been a natural in the sense that learning geography is authentic as we all learn that our actions do make a difference and that everything and everyone is connected.
Favorite childhood memories
My childhood is one great memory. I loved growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota. I have great parents and family and they were always completely supportive. From the many days of fishing at Lura Lake to the hot days bailing hay, I loved my childhood.
How did you choose your current career path? Who or what inpired you?
As far as I remember, I recall wanting to become a teacher. I always admired my teachers and their ability to get me to think. I had an outstanding teacher, Mr. Ziegler, in 8th grade who inspired me to become a K-12 teacher. I then had some excellent geography professors, Mr. Roger Richman and Dr. Cecil Keen, who inspired me to become a college professor. I have always felt that teachers and education are the most important resources we have and I wanted to become part of this community. I absolutely love my job as I feel that everyday I have the opportunity to inspire someone to become themselves through education.
Advice for students of today
Make sure you first priority is to receive an education, not a piece of paper. We all have the license to fail. We must not be afraid to try new things, as we need this perspective to grow as an individual.
Why is it important to study the Arctic?
It is important to study the Arctic as it truly is the barometer for al of our actions in the mid-latitudes. Through studying this remote location we are able to get an enhanced understanding of how we can make a difference and how our individual decision to have monumental impacts.
How and when did you first become a dog musher?
I learned the art of dogsledding on my first expedition Arctic Transect 2004. As an educator, I was part of the group that developed that program. I consider myself to be an educator who will do what he can do to get students to never have to ask the question, "Why are we studying this?" I want to give student the opportunity to be excited about learning.
Responsibilities on the trail
Education. My main responsibility is to perform research in the area we are traveling and provide resources to students who are using our education program at www.polarhusky.com. Along with other team members, I will be writing and collecting video and audio that we will compress and send out with satellite phones. We will also be doing interviews along the trail to give students an authentic learning experience that they will not forget. Finally I am in charge of communication and making sure the technical equipment is working properly on the trail.