Crew & Operations
Magnus grew up sailing in eastern England and has specialized in high-latitude vessels since 2005. He’s logged over 200,000 ocean miles as captain, and worked multiple years as captain of Skip Novak’s expedition yachts Pelagic and Pelagic Australis in Antarctica and the deep south, interspersed with 7 northern summers in the Arctic, with 5 in Greenland. Accreditations include: IAATO expedition leader for South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Commercial, MCA STCW 95, MCA ENG 1, MCA short-range radio, MCA GMDSS general operator, MCA Proficiency in medical first aid on board ship, PADI open water diver, and Canadian PAL (firearms). Since 2016, Magnus has run the consultancy company High Latitudes, assisting yacht owners and captains visit remote polar and sub-polar regions. He has also worked as an ice pilot with EYOS Expeditions, driving some of the largest sail and motor yachts in the world. On all of these expeditions, it has been essential to work closely with managers and their teams to achieve goals; be they filming, scientific research and exploration, conservation, or simply bearing witness to the astonishing pace of environmental change in the Arctic and Antarctic. Language skills include French and basic conversational fluency in Dutch and Spanish. Magnus loves backcountry hiking and paddling, and is a keen cyclist, photographer, and cook.
Julia grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, a small city surrounded by an abundance of water and wilderness on the north shore of Lake Superior. Her maritime qualifications include RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Commercial, MCA STCW 78, MCA ENG 1, MCA short-range radio in addition to Canadian PAL (firearms). A graduate of Concordia University’s Journalism program in Montreal, Quebec, she began her career as a news reporter on Canada’s west coast, covering topics ranging from industrial logging and forestry to local fisheries and First Nation politics. It was in British Columbia that Julia began to explore the relationship between humans and the living landscape. Through herbalism, wild food foraging, hunting and artisanal hide tanning, she learned how land-based skills can foster an intimate connection to place and deeper ecological awareness. She has attended Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School in New Jersey and traditional skills gatherings in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. When she isn’t at sea, Julia facilitates land-based education projects with Indigenous communities across Ontario to share traditional hide tanning knowledge. She also loves exploring back country roads and rivers with her husband Magnus, their foldable canoe and 1986 Volkswagen Westfalia.
David was born and raised in a New England family with strong ties to the sea and a tradition of active storytelling. He and his two sisters and brother grew up around boats and the mountains, inspired by the adventures of their parents. David attended Bowdoin College, where he majored in comparative religious studies. His collegiate highlight was a sea semester at the Williams College-Mystic Seaport program, where he learned celestial navigation and researched the Arctic schooner Bowdoin. After college, with a 100ton USGC license, he captained a 51’ aluminum sailboat, completed two transatlantic crossings and five years as an educator at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine. For three decades he has led Compass Light Productions, producing over 30 films in the Arctic. In 2014, David was the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin, where he developed and taught Digital Seashore Diaries, and Science to Story (integrating a visit to the schooner Bowdoin with the school’s Arctic Studies program). In 2015, he founded the Conservation Media Group (CMG), a modest not-for-profit intermediary organization supporting the next generation of filmmaker activists and organizations campaigning for healthier oceans, and a just and fossil-free economy. David has volunteered as a Board Member at the Penobscot Marine Museum, and as an Advisory Board Member at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Alnoba, the Lewis Family Foundation, and the Ocean Foundation. He currently Chairs the Board of the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. David and his family have served as seasonal caretakers of Camden’s Curtis Island Lighthouse for over 40 years.
ArcticEarth is an initiative of Compass Light Productions. We produce motion pictures that explore the human relationship to the ocean and the outdoors. Our staff builds on an active network of outdoor field production personnel in 55 countries worldwide. We have been ranked among the Global Top 100 Production Companies by Realscreen.
View a list of selected Arctic films produced by Compass Light.
The Conservation Media Group (CMG) supports filmmakers and organizations who are creating impact in our three focus areas: providing sanctuary for marine life, reducing ocean plastic at its source, and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.