"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."

Meet the Staff

Chad Truxall

Executive Director
email: chad@marinediscoverycenter.org

Chad Truxall, Director of Marine Discovery Center

  • B.S. Wildlife Ecology and Conservation- University of Florida
  • Florida Master Naturalist Instructor
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • Lifeguard/First Aid/CPR
  • Boat Safety Course
  • Open Water Diver


Julie Barrs

Office Manager
email: julie@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Certified, Intuit QuickBooks
  • Certified, Tax Preparation
  • Notary, State of Florida

noelle-pic2Noelle Dunbar

Welcome Desk Coordinator
email: noelle@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Bachelor of Business Adminstration in Management/Marketing — University of North Florida
  • Master of Human Resource Management — University of North Florida

erica-edmonsonErica Edmonston

Education and Restoration Specialist
email: erica@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • B.S. in Aquatic & Marine Biology from Stetson University
  • Minors in Psychology & Environmental Science
  • Open Water & NITROX certified Diver
  • First Aid/CPR/ AED/DAN First Aid for SCUBA Divers certified


Traci Gardellis

Volunteer Coordinator/Eco Narrator/Mermaid
email: traci@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Florida Master Naturalist – certified in Coastal Systems
  • B.A. History, B.S. Recreational Therapy
  • “Certified” Mermaid – Sirens of the Deep Camp, Weeki Wachee
  • First Aid/CPR
  • USCG Certified Crew

Walt-HangenWalt Hangen

Boat Captain
  • B.S. Science, Biology & Chemistry
  • US Public Health Service, local, regional and national positions
  • Owned & Operated W H Rental Corp (Tools, Equipment & Party) 35 years
  • USCG Master Captain, 50 Ton and Towing Endorsement
  • Red Cross Water Safety Instructor
  • Park Ranger, Canaveral National Seashore, NPS
  • VIP, Canaveral National Seashore, NPS
  • Certified First Aid & CPR
  • FL Master Naturalist, Certified CoastalSystems

Charity Jackson

Charity Jackson

Kayak Tour Guide/Eco Narrator
email: charity@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • MS Biology, Western Kentucky University
  • BA Psychology, University of Central Florida
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Certified in Coastal Systems, Freshwater Systems, Upland Systems, Environmental Interpretation, Conservation Science and Habitat Evaluation
  • Advanced PADI Open Water Diver
  • Adult and Pediatric First Aid / CPR / AED
  • Boater Safety Course


Gary Kessler

Boat Captain
email: gary@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • USCG Licensed Captain (50 GT Master Inland Water/OUPV Near Coastal and Tow Assist)
  • PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer (specialties include Underwater Naturalist, Goliath Grouper, and Lionfish)
  • First Aid/CPR
  • B.A., Mathematics; M.S., Computer Science; Ph.D., Computing Technology in Education
  • Professor of Cybersecurity, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Lisa D. Mickeylisa

Kayak Tour Guide/Eco Narrator
email: lisa@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Certified in Coastal, Freshwater Wetlands, and Upland Systems.
  • ACA Certified Kayak Instructor
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • U.S. Power Squadrons Paddle Smart certification
  • Former Adopt-An-Estuary program coordinator
  • B.A English, High Point University, North Carolina
  • Graduate Studies in Literature, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • Veteran newspaper, magazine journalist
  • 3-time national award winner – Golf Writers Assoc. of America
  • Certified in First Aid & CPR

Andrea OrozcoAndrea-Orozco-MDC

Andrea Orozco is from Cancun, Mexico. She came to Daytona Beach Florida to go to university. She played golf for Bethune Cookman University for four years. She earned a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Integrated Environmental Science and is just starting her masters in Integrated Environmental Science. Andrea’s hobbies are to play golf and enjoy nature at the same time. Sea Turtles are her favorite animal and she is working with Dr. Cho (“J”) from BCU in the project of living shorelines as buffers for controlling nonpoint source pollution along the Indian River Lagoon. She is also going to be involved in the education part of the project in the Marine Discovery Center.

Lois Reed

Kayak Tour Guide/Eco Narrator/ Web Master
email: lois@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Certified in Coastal Systems & Freshwater Wetlands
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • Web Designer at Lois Reed Designs
  • Eco Artist
  • Certified in First Aid & CPR

Warren Reynolds

Kayak Tour Guide/Florida Master Naturalist
  • Florida Master Naturalist – certified in Coastal, Wetlands and Uplands systems
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • Retired Hospitality Industry
  • Active in the Florida Native Plant Society



Logan Rohrbach

email: logan@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • B.S. Marine Science (Marine Biology track) – Eckerd College
  • Minors in Mathematics & Visual Arts
  • Outdoor education and travel lover
  • Aquarium hobbyist

jesseJessy Wayles

Restoration Specialist
email: jessy@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • BS- Environmental Science, University of Central Florida
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Certifications in Freshwater, Coastal, and Upland Systems
  • Researcher with the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group
  • Turtle enthusiast!

micheleMichelle West

Education Coordinator
email: michelle@marinediscoverycenter.org
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Certification in Coastal Systems
  • B.S. Health Education with a Physical Education endorsement – Elon University
  • M.Ed. Early Childhood Education – Mercer University
  • Certified in First Aid and CPR