A well-known climate change expert and professor at the University of Minnesota choked and brutally assaulted his fiancée, who told cops she fears he will kill her, according to a criminal complaint.
Aaron Herbert Doering, a 47-year-old tenured professor and the director of the Minneapolis university’s Learning Technologies Media Lab, was charged Thursday with two felony counts of domestic assault by strangulation in Hennepin County District Court, the Star Tribune reports.
Doering — who also serves as a fellow for the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and regularly appears on media outlets to discuss climate change, sustainability and related topics — had to be separated from his fiancée by responding officers when they got to the couple’s apartment in Minneapolis, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the newspaper.
The woman, who had bruises on her neck and red marks on her forehead, told police Doering had dragged her through the apartment by her hair before beating her and choking her to the point that she thought she would lose consciousness, the complaint shows.
“Victim believes [Doering] will kill her if he returns to the apartment,” according to the court document.
The woman claimed that the alleged assault was not the first time she had been victimized by Doering. She also provided police with photographs to back up those claims.
Doering, who remains jailed in Hennepin County on $40,000 bond, is set to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon, county records show.
Doering’s status at the university remained unchanged as of late Thursday, a spokeswoman told the Star Tribune.
“We’re aware of the situation and will be reviewing the matter,” director of public relations Lacey Nygard said.
A message seeking additional comment from university officials was not immediately returned early Friday.
Doering’s website bills him as an explorer with a “passion for education and change”and details some of his lectures to more than 15 million students, as well as his dog-sledding trips and more than 5,000 miles exploring the Arctic since 2004. His latest project, “The Changing Earth,” is an Emmy-nominated documentary about a 137-mile trek through the Arctic wilderness into Iceland.
“Aaron has received millions of dollars in grants; has published more than 80 journal articles, books, book chapters, and conference proceedings; and is the coauthor of two books, The New Landscape of Mobile Learning: Redesigning Education in an App-based World and Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching,” the website reads.
Doering’s Twitter account, which has nearly 4,000 followers, identifies him as an adventurer and is peppered with photos of extreme Canadian Arctic locales, as well as his young son.