As one of the original members of Untamed Science, Hazen Audel represents the untamed nature of teaching in every way. He is a man with seemingly boundless energy and a desire to keep things simple but always full of spirit.
What have you taught, for how long, and where?
I taught Biology and Art formally as a high school teacher for 11 years. I think my place in life is to be a teacher. Before I was teaching in the classroom I was a jungle guide because I love to share my passions with people. I love the jungle; I love nature; I love how it all works. Even though I am working in television now [National Geographic’s Survive the Tribe and NatGeo’s Primal Survivor], I still consider myself an educator but to a much bigger audience. I miss teaching in the classroom because I miss my students. I really hope one day I am father. Then I will be the best kind of teacher that there is.
Fill us in on your new endeavors.
I have always filled in the spaces with an art business that I have had for over twenty years. I have done a lot of hand illustrations and paintings for various publications, but mostly I build metal sculpture and artistic items to be incorporated into architecture and public spaces. My father was an artist and hot-rod builder and has always worked with his hands. He taught me to do the same, so my hands are never idle. Life is a bit crazy right now. I have been working with National Geographic and never know how long that will last. So I am spending time preparing for the future by building my house and future art studio and looking for more opportunities to teach.
What inspired you to start doing this?
I’ve always followed my heart. I try hard for the things I want in life. I recognized that I love nature and being creative. And since the best elements of nature and unique things are often in the most adventurous of places, I’ve had to be an adventurer. So I practiced what I loved. It’s given me a good life, allowing me to feel like I am following my dreams. This has given me some awesome adventures and opportunities and continues to create who I am. The best part is the incredible friends I’ve made along the way.
How have you integrated technology/media into your classrooms to increase learning?
Rob, Jonas, and I thought that we should use video to document how we live our lives while learning about nature and science. We thought it would be a good way to show young people that they can do the same. So we made videos and put them on the web for students and teachers to see. It was great to discover how many people all around the world were watching and liking them. We called our videos the Wild Classroom which later became Untamed Science. Who know what our next videos will be?
What is your teaching philosophy, and why do you think it’s important? How does it benefit students?
I strongly believe that the more you know, the more you care, and the more you want to learn! I have always taught by giving important information that is directly useful to peoples lives, arming people with information that inspires and fascinates. Then my job is done; it makes those people want to open their eyes, ears, and feelers to know more on their own. They become inspired, lifelong learners.
The problem is that what is real life and important is not being taught to future generations. In many ways, without science and biology and nature being taught, we are producing a clueless society that doesn’t really know how the world works. With a society like that, everyday people are making decisions (or not making them) that are bad for the health of people and the planet. The world could be a very different place if people had a better understanding of how things work, how they interact, and how they all effect each other. People might change for the best if they know what best to do. Unfortunately, most people don’t know and have to live their lives listening to other people that also don’t know.
What’s the most interesting feedback you’ve had so far?
I think what I am currently finding, at least with this latest television show that I am working on [Primal Survivor], is that there are many many ways to live your life. There are cultures, skills, and knowledge out there that we never knew about before, and we have a lot to learn.
Do you have any advice for other teachers that may want to follow in your footsteps? What would you tell them?
Care a lot, work hard, and love hard.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Being a teacher has been the most fulfilling experience of my life.