U of M prof and noted climate change speaker charged with domestic abuse

Aaron Doering was featured in a Twin Cities PBS documentary last year.
Publish date:

An esteemed professor at the University of Minnesota has been charged with domestic assault following an incident at his home in Minneapolis this week. 

Aaron Doering, 47, is a professor of learning technologies, a co-director of the U of M's LT Media Lab, and a noted climate change speaker and educator. 

According to the criminal charges against him, Minneapolis police officers arrived at his home on Wednesday to respond to a "reported domestic assault-in-progress," and "could hear a male and female arguing inside."

Inside, they encountered Doering and a woman identified only as "M.R." She told them that Doering had "grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the apartment," slapped and hit her, and choked her to the point where she couldn't breathe and thought she would lose consciousness, the charges say.

She also "reported her belief that Defendant would eventually kill her."

Officers at the scene noted red marks on the woman's forehead, and "bruising in the shape of fingers" on the left side of her neck.

The charging documents add that the victim told police she had been assaulted by the suspect "several times" in the past, and had pictures of her previous injuries to prove it. 

On Thursday, Doering was charged with one count of "Domestic Assault - By Strangulation," a felony that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Perhaps due to Doering's public visibility, the story has been picked up by national outlets like FOX News and The New York Post.

The latter publication describes the professor as a "climate change expert," and says the alleged victim is his fiancée. 

The paper also notes that he was featured in “The Changing Earth,” an Emmy-nominated documentary "about a 137-mile trek through the Arctic wilderness into Iceland." 

You can watch that documentary – in which "explorers bring students face-to-face with the impact of climate changes in the Arctic," Twin Cities PBS says – right here. 

The U of M tells WCCO that it is "aware of the situation and will be reviewing the matter."

Next Up


U of M prof. slings science for new 'Spider-Man' movie

University of Minnesota physics professor Jim Kakalios was a consultant on the new Spider-Man movie. In a fun video, he talks about how he taught filmakers about the science behind wall-crawling and how he came up with the "Decay Rate Algorithm" featured in the film.