Dr. Mark Terry’s book ‘The GeoDoc’

In February of 2020, Dr. Mark Terry had his book released through Palgrave-MacMillan to rave reviews: ‘BookAuthority’ includes Dr. Mark Terry’s book ‘The GeoDoc – Geomedia, Documentary Film and Social Change’ as one of the 5 Best New Documentary Film eBooks To Read In 2020.

On their page entitled ’47 Best Documentary Film eBooks of All Time’, they writeThis book introduces a new form of documentary film: the Geo-Doc, designed to maximize the influential power of the documentary film as an agent of social change. By combining the proven methods and approaches as evidenced through historical, theoretical, digital, and ecocritical investigations with the unique affordances of Geographic Information System technology, a dynamic new documentary form emerges, one tested in the field with the United Nations. This book begins with an overview of the history of the documentary film with attention given to how it evolved as an instrument of social change.

It examines theories surrounding mobilizing the documentary film as a communication tool between filmmakers and policymakers. Ecocinema and its semiotic storytelling techniques are also explored for their unique approaches in audience engagement. The proven methods identified throughout the book are combined with the spatial and temporal affordances provided by GIS technology to create the Geo-Doc, a new tool for the activist documentarian.
In Dr. Terry’s book, he talks about The Youth Climate Report, a project he created and maintains in conjunction with the UNEP, which is a temporal, locative, evolving new form of a documentary film which he pins 3-minute videos submitted by students from around the world that examine climate change and other environmental issues. Mark’s book explains how this data delivery system was adopted by the UNEP to inform policymakers of issues through the GIS map platform which houses videos, reports, photographs, metadata, location, and more.

Dr. Mark Terry inducted to the Royal Society of Canada

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Terry for officially becoming a member of the Canadian Royal Society on Friday, Nov. 27th, 2020.

The honour was bestowed upon Dr. Terry due to two main areas of focus. Dr. Terry was first invited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2009 to screen his film, ‘The Antarctica Challenge-A Global Warning’, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP. It was the only environmental film screened to delegates and policymakers that year and helped informed them about critical issues, regarding climate change. The UN then asked Mark to make a film about his findings in the Arctic and provided him with a list of subjects to cover. He answered with ‘The Polar Explorer’ which was screened to delegates and policymakers again at COP. Mark was able to sit down with policymakers and was instrumental in getting rising sea levels tabled as an issue to be addressed around the world.

Mark’s next project was to create the Youth Climate Report, in which he invited students between ages 19 and 30 to create and submit a 3-minute film exploring aspects of climate change and environmental issues. Mark then created a customized GIS map in which he pinned each of the student videos along with metadata, photos, locative details, and links. By adding new student submissions each year, which are juried by Mark and the UNEP, he created a new multi-linear, temporal, locative, evolving form of a documentary film, which was adopted by the UN as a data delivery system. comprised of the student videos, called a Geo-Doc.

The UN and educators around the world are embracing this platform to share information, in a video format as it is such a direct method to convey information and can be more effective than reading reports.

As his project to complete his Ph.D. Mark used the Youth Climate Report project as the basis of his thesis. The result was the book called ‘The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change’ which was released in 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan.  The same year Mark released a book called ‘Pandemic Poetry’ full of reflections on the COVID19 pandemic and its effect on individuals and society.

Mark has also addressed people around the world on many aspects of climate change at numerous conferences, and this also led to him becoming a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has a number of other accolades including the Queen’s Royal Jubilee Medal, a Canadian Gemini Award, and the Steffanason Medal awarded by the Explorer’s Club, of which he is a member.