Research in the Classroom – Eric Dooley ’13

Majors: physics and secondary education, mathematics minor

Scholarships: Regents’ Scholarship, Honors Regents’ Scholarship, Clarence & Otillia Richter Scholarship, Debra Boss Montgomery Scholarship, Leif Sverdrup Physics Scholarship

Activities and interests: captain and four-year starter for the Auggie football team, physics tutor, Christensen Scholar

picture of Eric Dooley

Gifts to Augsburg College help support faculty-led research projects that prepare students for graduate school and professional careers. For students like Eric Dooley, your gifts provide multiple opportunities to learn about integrating scientific research into his future classroom.

During the school year, Dooley is a tutor for the Physics Department and runs a study table for his teammates on the football team. He also has conducted research for two summers through Augsburg’s Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity (URGO) program.

This past summer, Dooley studied the earth’s upper atmosphere with Augsburg associate physics professor David Murr ‘92. Using high-altitude ballooning to send instrumentation 70,000 to 100,000 feet into the stratosphere, they tested temperature, pressure, and humidity, and gathered a dust count.

“What makes this layer of the atmosphere interesting,” Dooley said, “is that it’s a gathering place for dust that comes from the earth and dust that settles from meteor showers. Studying dust in the stratosphere helps us understand global climate change and air quality issues.”

Dooley and other Augsburg students also participated in the summer summer in a teacher education initiative funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. Local secondary science teachers and Augsburg students conducted research and wrote curricula that the teachers then took back to their classrooms. Working with teachers gave Dooley insight into how research can be used in a high school setting.

After he graduates, Dooley wants to teach high school students—because he believes knowledge of science and mathematics helps students learn in other areas. He also wants to provide the same positive experience for students that his high school and college science teachers gave him.