People & Culture

Polar exploring in the age of climate change with Dr. Mark Terry

Episode 69

The scholar, filmmaker, author and explorer discusses his documentary work, experience in the polar regions, climate change and more 

  • Oct 17, 2023
Mark Terry (centre) with documentary crew Damir Chytil and Steve McNamee filming their crossing through the Northwest Passage for the 2010 film "The Polar Explorer." (Photo courtesy
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If you look at the centre of the top deck, there's Mark Terry. Photo taken by the Canadian Mint while Mark was filming his Polar Explorer documentary. (Photo courtesy Bank of Canada)
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I’m thrilled to have Mark Terry with us today. He’s had a long and interesting career that includes everything from being a newspaper reporter at the Toronto Star to making a documentary about the master of horror Clive Barker to his ongoing work with the UN producing groundbreaking documentaries about the impact of climate change on our polar regions. This is a fun and interesting conversation with a true innovator. We get into everything from swimming with penguins to how he wound up on the back of the Canadian 50 dollar bill (look at the tiny figure on the top deck of the icebreaker) to his documentary work and how he has shifted that into geo-docs, a new way of making climate documentaries and information more accessible, “google maps with documentaries” as he puts it. Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Canada and is an Adjunct Professor at York University and Wilfred Laurier. 

He has two new books out, Speaking Youth To Power: Influencing Climate Policy at the United Nations and Mapping the Environmental Humanities – The Emerging Role of Geomedia in the Environmental Humanities.

Mark Terry filming his 2009 documentary The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning. (Photo courtesy
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Mark Terry swimming in Antarctica as part of his documentary, The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning. (Photo courtesy
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