GradImpact: Using Documentary Films to Mobilize Social Change

    More than two decades after earning his bachelor’s degree in English, Mark Terry returned to York University to pursue his graduate studies in the Humanities. Mr. Terry spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, and his current doctoral research focuses on “how documentary film can philosophically be mobilized as an instrument of social change.” One of his previous films documents climate research expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic and has been used by the United Nations to create new environmental policy. His Youth Climate Report project was presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Morocco in 2016.


    Terry’s work uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to showcase the latest climate research being done by climate scientists, researchers, and scholars around the world. A GIS allows us to visualize, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends in more comprehensive ways and is being used by industries across the world. Terry’s innovative project brings together GIS and interactive documentary filmmaking and can be replicated. He works closely with United Nations Environment Program policy makers providing interactive mapping tools to serve delegates and negotiators.


    Mr. Terry has received many accolades for his work, including the Diamond Jubilee Medal to honor his significant contributions and achievements to Canada. To learn more about Mark’s work, visit the York University website.



    **Photo Credit: York University 




    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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