Laura Helft

Project Leader, Bird Academy


Science Communication • Science Education • Media production • Evaluation

I oversee content, create new courses, and provide creative direction for Bird Academy. I am a biologist-turned-media producer and educator, and I love creating excitement and enthusiasm about the natural world and what we know (and don’t know!) about it. Taking a course online should be fun, engaging, and enrich your life. I strive to bring all these elements to our courses for as many learners as possible.

Prior to joining the Lab, I worked in the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where I researched films for PBS, IMAX, classrooms, and the silver screen. I also implemented outreach campaigns for those films, creating websites, events, and social media campaigns to increase the reach and impact of our work. My doctorate is in molecular biology, but I have worked on science films about everything from vaccines to mass extinctions to space exploration. I am a native upstate New Yorker who is happy to be back in the land of true winter.


Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin
B.A., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Middlebury College

Laura Helft
Center Engagement in Science and Nature
Projects Bird Academy

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