The relationship with National Geographic has taken the professor from St. Norbert College across the world

DE PERE, Wisconsin (WBAY) – A local teacher says he’s living the dream of anyone who loves geography.

Not only does he teach geography at St. Norbert College, he was instrumental in National Geographic for 35 years.

After graduating from UW-LaCrosse and graduating from Texas State University, Mark Bockenhauer felt his career path was mapped out.

“I thought I would probably be a planner in Texas, but then I had the opportunity to get an internship at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC and it changed the course of my career dramatically. Two weeks after the start of my internship, my boss, Susan Monroe, told me “what are you going to do when you finish your internship? And I said, ‘Well, you’re going to hire me, aren’t you?’ And she said, “I was just checking,” Bockenhauer recalls.

For four years, starting in 1986, Bockenbauer was instrumental in helping Nat Geo launch his Geography Education Program, an effort to educate K-12 teachers across the country.

“He really designed the way we bring geography back into the curriculum and the decision they made was that they were going to do it through the teachers on duty, they decided that the way to get the kids to understand it was to teach teachers who had kids in their classrooms, ”says Kim Hulse, vice president of educational content for National Geographic.

“And of course during that time I decided I wanted to be a teacher so I came back to Wisconsin, went to UW-Milwaukee, got a PhD in geography and St, Norbert was my first job and I’ve held it, in my 28th year now, ”says Bockenhauer.

Once Bockenbauer started teaching, Nat Geo immediately asked him to stay involved with the organization.

He certainly did.

Over the past two decades, Bockenhauer has written a number of books that are in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes across the country.

He has also facilitated workshops and led a series of expeditions around the world for teachers.

“I have the best of both worlds because I work at St. Norbert College which is a wonderful teaching and learning opportunity every day and then I work with this amazing and internationally renowned organization on some really real projects. fun and awesome. as a writer, as a teacher, ”says Bockenhauer.

Safe to say, he feels blessed.

Copyright 2021 WBA. All rights reserved.

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