Mark Terry, PhD, is a scholar, educator, filmmaker, and communicator on many levels. His many efforts and talents have earned him the honour of being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canada’s highest academy.
Mark’s background is varied and extensive covering work in fields of entertainment, academia, and environmental activism. He became involved in the arts in high school and university via acting and playwriting. He worked as an editor and reporter at a young age and later published a magazine called Hollywood Canada, which profiled the arts in Canada. He later owned and operated The Bayview Playhouse in Toronto. He produced plays here and on Broadway, and London’s West End. He produced and directed TV series, movies, and documentary films during this time in Hollywood and Canada. He has achieved the rare feat of having 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 as he was invited to screen The Antarctica Challenge at COP 15 in Copenhagen to delegates, policymakers, and world leaders. Armed with a list issued by the UN of subjects to cover regarding the Arctic, he made an expedition with ArcticNet aboard a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker called The Amundsen. His film The Polar Explorer was again screened for delegates, policymakers, and world leaders at the next UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico. At this conference, Dr. Terry was able to sit down with policymakers and was instrumental in crafting a policy addressing rising sea levels: Enhanced Action on Adaptation: Section II: Subsection 25 of the Cancun Accord. 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.