Mark Terry, Ph.D. is a writer, educator, filmmaker, and communicator on many levels. His many efforts and talenAll Pagests have earned him the honour of being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of many awards and accolades.

Dr. Mark Terry - Biography

Mark’s background is varied and extensive covering work in fields of entertainment, academia and environmental studies, and activism. He became involved in the arts in high school and university via acting and writing and pursued work in the entertainment industry for many years. He worked as an editor and reporter at a young age and years later published a magazine called Hollywood Canada, which profiled many aspects of the entertainment industry. He later owned and operated The Bayview Playhouse in Toronto. He produced plays here and on Broadway, and London’s West End. He was produced and directed TV series, movies, and documentary films during this time in Hollywood and Canada. He has made a documentary film on every continent on earth. His two best-known works are The Antarctica Challenge – A Global Warning’ in 2009 and The Polar Explorer’ in 2010 filmed in the Arctic. These two films began his relationship with the United Nations Environment Programme as he was invited to screen ‘The Antarctic Challenge’ at COP 15 in Copenhagen where it was viewed by delegates and policymakers. Armed with a list issued by the UNEP of subjects to cover regarding the Arctic, he made an expedition with ArcticNet aboard the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker called The Amundsen. His film The Polar Explorer was again screened for delegates and policymakers at the next UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico. At this conference, Dr. Terry was able to sit down with them and was instrumental in getting rising sea levels tabled on their list of issues to tackle. Since that time, as a natural and charismatic speaker, Dr. Terry has delivered dozens of speeches at conferences, environmental agencies, schools, and more addressing all walks of life and educating policymakers, government officials students, and activists.

In keeping with informing policymakers regarding climate change and other environmental issues, in 2010, Dr. Terry began the Youth Climate Report, which invited students to make 3-minute videos that were uploaded to a GIS map, along with the filmmaker’s details, location, scientific reports, photographs, and metadata. The project is ongoing and has developed into a new form of documentary film as a collection of temporal, locative multi-linear mini-reports that became an evolving data delivery system, with videos juried and published by Dr. Terry and members of the UNEP. In 2019, Dr. Terry worked with a group of indigenous youth from around the world and brought them to COP to present their films. He continues with such projects.

He graduated from York University’s Glendon College in Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1980, and decades later return to the Humanities Program at  York University where he earned his Master’s degree in 2015 followed by his Ph.D. in 2019. As the subject for his dissertation for his Ph.D., he focused on the Youth Climate Project and how GIS maps and video can be effectively used to inform UN policymakers, governments, and society in general. It has inspired many young people to become environmental activists. Dr. Terry has attended every COP conference since 2009, presenting either his films or the Youth Climate Report and winners of the best two videos submitted by students each year and addressing COP audiences as well.
His work as a communicator, through writing and delivering speeches around the world for years, has garnered him multiple invitations to speak at more conferences and awards. As a member of The Explorer’s Club, he was awarded their Stefansson medal in 2011 for documenting polar research and exploration. He received a Canadian Gemini Award in 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for international humanitarian service. Canadian Geographic Magazine listed Mark as one of Canada’s Top 100 Greatest Explorers in 2015.
Dr. Terry’s dissertation evolved into the book, The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change released by Palgrave Macmillan 2020. Also in 2020, he had a book called Pandemic Poetry released in April of 2020 and has contributed to a chapter and has co-edited a book entitled Mapping the Environmental Humanities: The Emerging Role of GIS in Ecocriticism, published by Lexington Books.
Dr. Terry will be releasing the third film in his trilogy of polar documentaries called The Changing Face of Iceland, early in 2021.
Dr. Terry continues to lecture at various universities, including York University and Ryerson University in Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He is well-loved by students for his compelling lessons and winning personality. He is involved in many aspects of York University and holds many academic positions which can be viewed on his C.V. page.