Mya Thompson

Project Leader


Science Communication • Online Learning • Instructional Design • Media Production • Animal Communication

The mission of Bird Academy is to provide educational opportunities that inspire people to learn and take action to protect birds and biodiversity. As the project leader for Bird Academy, I spearhead the growth of our e-learning platform and the creation of innovative educational tools and online experiences.

I serve as the project manager and instructional designer for the site’s series of online courses and have produced and authored a series of web-based interactives and games including Bird Song Hero, Flap to the Future, BeastBox, Wall of Birds, All About Bird Song, All About Fancy Males, and All About Bird Anatomy. I also manage partnerships with external educational platforms including the Google Cultural Institute and BrainPOP to bring the Cornell Lab’s content to broader audiences.

In 2016, Bird Academy won a Gold Award in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s Circle of Excellence Program for the design and architecture of its website.

I first worked at the Cornell Lab as a high school student, analyzing Song Sparrow and humpback whale recordings for the Bioacoustics Research Program. During those first work experiences, I got a healthy dose of the Lab’s innovative culture and commitment to conservation. It stuck with me. All these years later, after becoming a research biologist and working on science education projects all over the country, it’s rewarding to be back at the Lab working in a role that advances the Lab’s mission to engage and educate people far beyond our walls.


Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University

Beyond the Lab

I serve as a Board Member for the Ithaca Public Education Initiative.

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