Laura Helft, Ph.D
Managing Science Editor, Conservation Media, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Birds in Crisis: A Message from the Natural World
Nearly 3 billion birds have been lost in North America over the last 50 years. This staggering finding indicates that action is needed to reverse this trend. Laura will describe how scientists came to this conclusion, the effort to alert the world about this discovery, and the growing movement to make a difference for birds and the rest of the natural world.
Dr. Helft oversees research and development of films for the Conservation Media group at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. While studying plant immune systems for her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, she realized there was a need to have more scientists directly involved in communicating the importance and process of research to the public. As a liaison between the scientific and communications worlds, Laura works with conservation organizations to make media that is compelling, accurate, and inspirational. She assists in the articulation of communications strategy and execution, and particularly enjoys working with experts from a variety of disciplines to realize conservation action. Prior to moving to Ithaca, Laura worked in the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where she researched films for PBS, IMAX, classrooms, and the silver screen.