The MDC Team

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Chad Truxall

Chad Truxall

Executive Director

email: [email protected]

I have more than 17 years of experience as a biologist, educator and non-profit manager. I came to the Marine Discovery Center in 2004 as its Director of Education and now serve as the Executive Director, responsible for the long range vision, mission and strategic direction for the organization. This involves a strong community presence and the implementation of hands-on, feet-wet education, restoration and stewardship programs focused on Florida’s coastal ecology. I have a B.S.A. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a specialization in Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. I am a Florida Master Naturalist instructor and coordinate the Florida Coastal Naturalist program. I serve as the coordinator for the Florida region of the Association of Nature Center Administrators and believe that in the future, nature centers will play an increasingly important role in the community. I have more than 9 years of experience as a Volusia County Marine Mammal Stranding Team Member and recently completed a six-month study circle through the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation.

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

COORDINATORS & OFFICE STAFF

Julie Barrs

Julie Barrs

Finance & Accounting

email: [email protected]

I am from Ohio, came to Florida in 1988 and started at MDC in June 2011 as an Office Assistant in the old trailers. You might say my first passions are Christmas and my grandchildren. I have 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and 3 cats with no plans for anymore additional. I enjoy Bootcamp at least twice a week and walking with friends other days. I also enjoy yard sales and thrift stores on my off days.

  • Certified, Intuit QuickBooks
  • Certified, Tax Preparation
  • Notary, State of Florida
Mallory Brooks

Mallory Brooks

Welcome Center Associate & Education Assistant

email: [email protected]

Working at an environmental organization like the Marine Discovery Center is something I dreamed of as a kid growing up playing in the surf and exploring the gulf beaches. I knew that I loved animals and the environment and I wanted to do everything in my power to protect these precious things. Following my passion for the protecting the environment, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science, with a minor in Communication and Media Studies from Stetson University. While at Stetson I played Division-1 Softball, worked at the Reptile Discovery Center and Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division. I started my career at the Marine Discovery Center in 2015 leading Project H2O in the initial year to bring together environmental organizations, non-profits, universities, and businesses to protect the Indian River Lagoon. Currently, I am a pursuing a Master’s of Science in Integrated Environmental Science from Bethune-Cookman University in NOAA’s Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. While in school, I assist with the Welcome Desk and get to speak to people about the Marine Discovery Center and how we work to save the Indian River Lagoon. When I am not working or in school, I enjoy playing volleyball, going to the beach, kayaking, hanging out with family and my pup, Finn.

  • B.S. Environmental Science – Stetson University
  • M.S. Candidate Integrated Environmental Science – Bethune-Cookman University, NOAA CCME Assistantship
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • Hubbs-Seaworld and Volusia County Marine Mammal Stranding Team
  • Volusia County Manatee Watch Observer
  • First Aid and CPR Certified
Wendy Castino

Wendy Castino

Executive Assistant & Fund Development

email: [email protected]

I bring 30 years of client service experience with me to the Marine Discovery Center. For the last 20 years I have been in the insurance and financial planning industry with a focus on client service management as well as seminar and event coordinating. I am a firm believer that “people can tell when you’re smiling, even over the phone”. My goal is not only to meet a client’s expectations, but to exceed them.

I moved to New Smyrna Beach three years ago and began volunteering at MDC to obtain a better knowledge of “what is floating and living in the river in front of my house”. My family boats, kayaks and paddleboards regularly on the Indian River and we want to make sure it is taken care of so others can enjoy it for years to come.

  • Vocational degree in Travel Planning
  • 30 years Client Service experience
  • 6 years Seminar and Event Coordinating
  • CPR and First Aid certification
Noelle Dunbar

Noelle Dunbar

Office Coordinator

email: [email protected]

I started as a Volunteer at the Welcome Center in 2012. I was then hired as the Welcome Center Manager the following year and eventually became the Office Coordinator. I am a third generation Florida native who attended the University of North Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. Working with the many volunteers, staff and visitors has been enjoyable and sometimes challenging, but it has been a wonderful learning experience. In my personal time, I keep busy with my two children and husband. We are geeks at heart and love going to sci-fi conventions dressed as favorite characters. I love making costumes, crafts and playing board games. I also love going to the beach looking for shark teeth.

  • Bachelor of Business Adminstration in Management/Marketing — University of North Florida
  • Master of Human Resource Management — University of North Florida
Guy Flick

Guy Flick

Boat Operations and Facilities Coordinator

email: [email protected]

I am a retired restaurant executive with 31 years’ experience spent managing a 150 unit multi state territory. Upon retirement, I renewed my Captains license and started down a completely different path. First, I started working for several local venues including being an airboat captain for Black Hammock Fish Camp and a Seatow captain locally at Ponce Inlet. I also spent two summers in Alaska as a guide at Yesbay lodge and will continue to go back on a limited basis. I eventually obtained my Florida Master Naturalist – Coastal certificate and worked part time for both Turtle Mound Eco tours and Marine Discovery Center. I came aboard full time at MDC in September 2016 to manage the Boat / kayak operations and facilities management.

  • Vice president Captain D’s Seafood Restaurants 9 years
  • 31 years restaurant experience
  • Master Captain for 5 years
  • Seatow Capt.
  • US Power boat instructor
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • Fishing Guide NSB and Alaska
Therese Hlavin

Therese Hlavin

Welcome Desk & Gift Shop Associate

email: [email protected]

I moved from Chicago to New Smyrna Beach after retiring from Northeastern Illinois University. I spent my entire career in higher education as a writer and administrator of local, state, and federal grants. I also taught English at the university level and graduate courses in Library and Information Science.

What I enjoy about working at the Marine Discovery Center is seeing the extraordinary commitment of volunteers whose time and effort supports MDC’s mission. I also appreciate how visitors leave with a little more knowledge about the Indian River Lagoon and its ecological importance to the region.

Outside of MDC, I sing baritone in a women’s barbershop chorus and quartet, bake pastries, and read.

  • University of Illinois Chicago – B.A. Fine Arts
  • DePaul University – M.A.L.S.
  • Northeastern Illinois University – Gerontology Certification
  • PMP Certification
  • NLP Certification
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Coastal Systems Certified
Diane McColl

Diane McColl

Education Specialist

email: [email protected]

Although I was born in Massachusetts, I am completely a Florida girl. I have lived in Central Florida since I was 3 years old and have been a Volusia County resident since 2013. I absolutely love to hike, swim, snorkel, and thoroughly explore the many springs, swamps, beaches, and state parks that Florida has to offer. And now I am an advocate for the Indian River Lagoon and am eager to share Marine Discovery Center’s mission “to protect and restore Florida’s coastal ecosystems…through education, research and community stewardship” which I whole-heartedly support.

I am passionate about wildlife ecology and conservation and was ecstatic to begin my journey with MDC in the spring of 2017 conducting horseshoe crab surveys. Since then my position has evolved into so much more. I have taught youth education programs, led kayak adventure tours, narrated on our pontoon boat, and just recently completed the Coastal Systems module of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. My absolute favorite part of belonging to MDC is that each day offers a new learning experience and I am given the opportunity to make a difference in our coastal ecosystems.

  • B.S. Aquatic and Marine Biology – Stetson University
  • Florida Master Naturalist – Coastal Systems Certified
  • Florida Department of Education – Educator’s Certificate, Science
  • SCUBA Certified
  • Boater Safety Course
  • First Aid and CPR Certified
Logan Rohrbach

Logan Rohrbach

Education Specialist, Aquarist & Project Manager

email: [email protected]

I joined Marine Discovery Center in 2016 as an Educator/Aquarist. I help with various education programs including school field trips, summer camp and archery. I also maintain all of the live exhibits and aquariums at the center. I completed my undergraduate degree at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a B.S. in Marine Science with a track in Marine Biology and a double minor in Mathematics and Visual Arts. After college, I moved on to southern California where I worked at 6th grade outdoor school as an outdoor educator/hiking guide, teaching students to appreciate the outdoors while learning how to explore nature. Outside of work, you can find me at my local CrossFit gym training to be a competitive CrossFit athlete and weightlifter. In my free time, I also enjoy exploring nature and spending time with friends and family.

  • B.S. Marine Science (Marine Biology track) from Eckerd College
  • Double minor in Mathematics and Visual Arts
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • USA Archery Level 2 Instructor
  • First AID/CPR
  • Member of Florida Marine Science Educators Association
  • Hubbs-Seaworld and Volusia County Marine Mammal Stranding Team
  • Boaters Safety Course
  • PADI Open Water Diver Certification
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums – Professional Associate Member
Traci Trusler

Traci Trusler

Marketing & Volunteer Coordinator

email: [email protected]

My career path has been a winding, curving, interesting road on which I’ve toured people around historic homes, driven sightseeing trolleys through St. Augustine, welcomed visitors at Walt Disney World, and instructed people to stretch and bend themselves into various yoga poses. A native Ohioan who was fortunate enough to grow up with a second family home in New Smyrna, I moved to Florida permanently in 2012 and began volunteering and then working at MDC. I do have my official duties of course, but if you happen to see a chick in a mermaid tail around here, that’s probably me too. In fact, some people know me first and foremost as Mermaid Traci.

In addition to the above I am a mommy to 2 birds and a cat, and I spend absolutely as much time as I can with my husband, Scott.  I am a lover of theme parks, camping, music, history, and exploring interesting and quirky places. Odds are if you can’t find me I’m very likely with Scott either wandering around EPCOT or at home laughing hysterically at episodes of MST3K.

  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • B.A. History, B.S. Recreational Therapy
  • “Certified” Mermaid – Sirens of the Deep Camp, Weeki Wachee
  • First Aid/CPR
  • USCG Certified Crew
Jessy Wayles

Jessy Wayles

Conservation Science Coordinator

email: [email protected]

I am a graduate from University of Central Florida with a B.S. Environmental Science, and I bring over twelve years of professional and volunteer experience to the Marine Discovery Center. I expanded my interest in environmental science through a variety of volunteer work including relocating sea turtle nests, tagging and measuring sea turtles, and assisting with data collection on fresh water turtles in Florida’s springs.

My love of nature has compelled me to complete the all three Florida Master Naturalist Programs, earning myself the title of Florida Master Naturalist. I have been an interpretive ranger at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina and am continually involved in finding ways to secure the health of the Indian River Lagoon and its habitat by being a member of the Citizen Action Committee at IRL NEP.

When I am not working to make the IRL a healthy  habitat, you can find me at the skating rink playing roller derby under the name “Spikey Wayles” or getting lost in one of Florida’s beautiful and unique ecosystems.

  • BS- Environmental Science, University of Central Florida
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Freshwater Certified, Coastal Systems Certified, and Upland Systems Certified
  • Chairperson for the Atlantic High School A.E.M.S. Academy Advisory Board
  • Member of the Indian River Lagoon Council Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Turtle enthusiast!
Michelle West

Michelle West

Education Coordinator

email: [email protected]

I have been an educator for 15 years. With an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education from Elon University and a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Mercer University, working with children has always been one of my passions. I started working with summer camps at the Marine Discovery Center in 2012 and then became Field Trip Coordinator in 2015. Now as the Education Coordinator, I enjoy combining my love of teaching and the outdoors to inspire children to protect their local waters.

  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • Level 2 USA Archery instructor
  • Member of Florida Marine Science Educators Association, League of Environmental Educators of Florida, and Association of Nature Center Administrators
  • Member of LEEF’s Florida Environmental Literacy Working Group
  • Member of National Geographic Florida Advisory Council
  • Certified in First Aid and CPR

BOAT & KAYAK GUIDES

Lisa Mickey

Lisa Mickey

Lead Naturalist, Kayak Coordinator & Copy Writer

email: [email protected]

I was the kid who kept a cricket cage on my bedroom windowsill at night to sing me to sleep and who sometimes chased escaped box turtles under my bed. I spent an entire childhood tromping in the North Carolina woods, quietly observing wildlife from my treehouse, romping on the beaches, rappelling down mountain rock faces, crawling into caves and catching peeks from the local Audubon chapter’s viewing scopes in my teens. That was my real education in nature, formalized years later with classes and instruction that taught me the names of things I had always seen and heard. Decades later as a certified naturalist, I find that my role in environmental interpretation is still like giant “Show & Tell” from elementary school. It’s more scientific now, but the goal is the same – to explore the wonders of nature and to feel supremely blessed by sharing a planet with such living diversity. I can’t think of a place I’d rather be than sitting in a kayak on the Indian River Lagoon watching dolphins and manatees, strolling down a sun-splashed beach kissed by sea foam, riding a bike while trying to watch a soaring osprey or plant-nibbling gopher tortoise, or hiking in Merritt Island with binoculars, hoping and praying that a Florida Scrub-Jay will come say hello.

  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified, Freshwater Wetlands Certified, and Upland Systems Certified.
  • Florida Master Naturalist Assistant Instructor
  • 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
Jeannie Asby

Jeannie Asby

Boat Narrator

email: [email protected]

As a Florida native, I grew up loving all things “nature.”  After graduating from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, married life detoured my college path.  When 4 sons came along I couldn’t even see the path!  I home-educated our sons, frequently using the outdoors as our classroom, and watched their fascination and appreciation for nature grow.  When they all graduated I returned to school and received my Nursing degree, but after working as an R.N. for just over a year I went back to my first love.  I completed the Florida Master Naturalist core classes, where I finally met other “nature nuts” like me.  With an empty nest, my husband and I quit our “real” jobs and we are following our passions.  For him, music; for me, nature.

I’m constantly amazed by this incredible world we’ve been given and I love to share the discoveries of creation with others, especially children (my grandkids included)! I believe the first step toward conservation and preservation is education.  When people experience nature, they connect to it, and they want to take care of it.  MDC is all about those same things!  Come join us!  I can’t wait to see all we can do TOGETHER to be good stewards of the Indian River Lagoon, a place of beauty, fascination, and tranquility for us… and the next generation.

  • Florida Master Naturalist, certified Coastal, Freshwater, and Uplands. Special topics pending.
  • Florida’s Natural Element, LLC, owner
  • FWC – Project WILD Facilitator/Trainer
  • Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, member
  • Space Coast Regional Chapter of Florida Master Naturalists, member
  • Registered Nurse, A.S. in Nursing, Daytona State College
  • American Canoe Association, member
  • ACA Level I and II Kayak Instructor Certification
Roger Dix

Roger Dix

Boat Narrator & Kayak Guide

email: [email protected]

Before coming to Florida, I had spent the previous twenty years teaching English as a Second Language on the international circuit, mainly working in North East Asia.  The first week after I moved to New Smyrna Beach I “Discovered Amazing” at the Marine Discovery Center where I joined as a volunteer, assisting in the Education Department, with Shoreline Restoration, Invasive Plant Removal, and with the Discovery boat’s maintenance and upkeep, just to name a few of the many programs and projects that are part of the Center’s everyday activities that I have been a part of. I have also done extensive volunteer work for Volusia County and Brevard County tracking and monitoring manatees and gopher tortoise, and I am a member of the Volusia Sea Turtle Conservancy team (formerly the New Smyrna Beach Turtle Trackers), where I help with turtle nest surveys and monitoring along Volusia’s beaches.

I grew up in Maryland and Virginia where I spent most of my childhood summers along the lower Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay fishing, crabbing, swimming and boating. After learning the art of canoeing as a young man living in New England, I had the wonderful opportunity to canoe some of the many creeks, rivers and lakes of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, along with a month-long trip canoeing and boating through Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. During my years in North East Asia where the waters are very deep, very cold and very treacherous, I decided to take up mountain trekking, where I trekked many of the largest summits in South Korea, Japan, and on one very fortunate occasion ‘The Great Wall of China’ (not the whole length of wall, of course).

As I have enjoyed working with all the people at the Discovery Center, I look forward to continue working with them, learning from them, and hopefully helping them in educating the community and visitors, alike, about Florida’s natural environments.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Communications and English Studies from the University of Maryland Systems
  • Certified to Teach English as a Second Language
  • Advanced Master Naturalist & Florida Land Stewart Certificates
  • USGC certificate of Boat Safety and Basic Navigation
  • Member of the American Canoe Association; Certified in Canoe and Kayak Safety and Rescue
  • CPR and first aid certification
Charity Jackson

Charity Jackson

Boat Narrator & Kayak Guide

email: [email protected]

As a native of Volusia County, I have watched this beautiful community grow and change for many years. Working at the MDC has given me the opportunity to educate others about our area’s uniquely diverse coastal ecosystem, and it is a privilege to further the organization’s mission to protect and restore the place my family and I call home.

My background is diverse and includes a lot of community volunteer work and teaching in a variety of settings. In my younger years, I completed a BA in Psychology and then returned to school about 15 years later to complete a MS in Biology. At present, I am educating my own three children at home, which has been the source of many unusual family adventures. I stay busy caring for my ever-expanding family, comprised of 5 humans, 2 cats, 2 birds a rabbit named Nibbles and a tank full of jelly fish. Hobbies include traveling, SCUBA diving, and beach combing.

  • MS Biology, Western Kentucky University
  • BA Psychology, University of Central Florida
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Certified in Coastal Systems, Freshwater Systems, Upland Systems, Environmental Interpretation, Conservation Science, Habitat Evaluation and Wildlife Monitoring
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program Associate Instructor
  • Advanced PADI Open Water, Nitrox and Rescue Certified
  • Adult and Pediatric First Aid / CPR / AED
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • Boater Safety Course
  • Hubbs-Seaworld and Volusia County Marine Mammal Stranding Team
David Maib

David Maib

Kayak Guide

email: [email protected]

I was born and raised in Kansas, as was my wife Mary. I grew up fishing, boating, and water skiing in the lakes, rivers and reservoirs of the Midwest.  I retired after a long career as a professional pilot. I flew business jets for corporations for most of my career. My father was a private pilot so I grew up as comfortable around airplanes as I was around boats and the water.

We moved to New Smyrna Beach when I retired in 2008. We spent the last 18 years of my career in Minnesota and the desire to never again deal with harsh winters, and to be near the water drove that decision.

I met Walt Hangen in 2010 while volunteering at Canaveral National Seashore. Walt encouraged me to get my boat captains license and I did so in 2012. I got my 50 Ton Masters license and began work as a Captain on the pontoon tour boat at Canaveral in 2012. I met Cindy Lewis who was a narrator on those boat tours. Cindy told me about the Florida Master Naturalist program and I decided to take the Coastal Naturalist course at MDC. I absolutely loved the course and decided to complete the other two modules. I completed the Fresh Water and Upland modules last year. I began working as a volunteer kayak sweep at MDC in 2016.

 

Tess Sailor-Tynes

Tess Sailor-Tynes

Boat Narrator & Kayak Guide

email: [email protected]

Since sophomore year of high school, I strived for a future in marine conservation. I made the move from San Antonio, Texas to Florida in 2013, when I started at Rollins College. During my collegiate career, I took an internship with the Marine Science Center as a part of their Artificial Reef Research Team. Additionally, I was involved in NCAA athletics as a Cross Country runner, was a member of Eco Rollins, and worked on projects that were dedicated to urban farming and sustainability. I graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in Environmental Studies, with a focus in Marine Conservation.

My journey with Marine Discovery Center started in May of 2018, when I accepted a position as a Summer Camp Counselor. After completing 11 successful weeks of Summer Camp exploration, I joined the Boat and Kayak Guide team to expand my passion for educating the community about conservation efforts in our local ecosystems. Each excursion on the IRL is different and I never get tired of seeing all of the incredible species that call this place their home.

When I’m not at work, I spend time working on photography projects, cooking up new recipes, or running on the beach. I love being outside and I’m so fortunate to have a job that allows me to combine lifelong learning with personal gratification.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies
  • Project WET Certified
  • First Aid & CPR Certified
Paul Wehrung

Paul Wehrung

Boat Narrator

email: [email protected]

I am a retired public school teacher from central New York. I guess I can be classed as a people person, enjoying the interaction with students and those who want to learn more about our diverse environment. We can’t be more at home here in Florida since moving down two years ago.  I am awed by the biodiversity of the state and spend as much time out of doors as possible. I volunteer as a docent in the front lobby, help with the archery program, and narrate on the Dolphin Discovery Tours.

Some of my interests and hobbies are or have been hunting, fishing, skiing (both water and snow), gardening, reading, mentoring young people, music (playing the guitar and group singing), and travel.

I hope to continue learning more each day about the plants and animals of our state. Marine biology seems to be of most interest to me right now. You all can help me!

  • B.S. Elementary Ed, Biology, Earth Science Certified
  • M.S. Elementary Reading
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
  • USCG Certified Crew
  • First Aid/CPR Certified
  • Naui Open Water Certified Diver
  • New York State Boater Safety Course
  • United States Army, Honorably Discharged
  • ATV Certified, Canaveral National Seashore

 BOAT CAPTAINS

Ric Crocker

Ric Crocker

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

After finally retiring from many years in the transportation logistics industry I decided to pursue new passions on the water. Since 2012 my wife and I have lived full time on board our Classic Chris Craft Connie 500. She is a great middle aged Lady that likes love and attention.  Often, almost to much attention. In the spring of 2017 we made a fourteen hundred nautical mile trip from the upper reach of the Black Warrior River in Alabama to Sanford, Florida on the St Johns.  Along the way we had many memorable adventures, the most interesting was the interactions between the many bottlenose dolphins and our boat. We spent hours watching and photographing them surfing in our wake. Later in the trip we spent evenings anchored being visited by large families of manatees.

I am a USCG Licensed Master Captain Rated for 100 tons with a tow endorsement and FCC Radio Operator License. Since getting my certifications in 2012 I have been active in transiting vessels in size up 100ft primarily between New Orleans and Tampa Florida. In addition during 2016 I had the pleasure of captaining a classic double paddle wheeler for cruises on the river. I am looking forward to adding to my life adventures in association with the people at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach.

Walt Hangen

Walt Hangen

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

Having spent a good portion of my early years on an undeveloped island on the coast of New Jersey I learned about the land and sea, its inhabitants, the environment and how they related to each other. This was long before the study of Ecology became formalized. Throughout my working career with the US Public Health Service and 35 years in a Rental Equipment business I was always involved in some sort of activity around water and nature and sharing my learning and experiences with family and others. Following a move to New Smyrna Beach, I was fortunate to obtain my captain’s license, work for the National Park Service and learn about the Florida Master Naturalist Program and Marine Discovery Center. I was hooked on the chance to continue learning about the things I love and be able to share the excitement with others. I am thankful for such opportunities! I hope to be able to continue to serve in these activities for the foreseeable future.

  • B.S. Science, Biology & Chemistry
  • US Public Health Service, local, regional and national positions
  • Advanced classes in Public Administration and Management
  • 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
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems Certified
Gary Kessler

Gary Kessler

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

My love of the ocean dates back to my childhood growing up on southern California beaches. I became a certified SCUBA diver as a teenager in the late-1960s largely due to an interest in discovering old ship wrecks. I went to college to study oceanography but got distracted by mathematics and computer science, but I have pretty much always lived near water, including 33 years on Vermont’s Lake Champlain between 1977 and 2012. I started boating in the early 1990s, eventually becoming a SCUBA instructor and USCG boat captain. I have lived in Florida since 2012 and am getting accustomed to a new type of marine life, and starting to get back into my basic diving interest of maritime history and archaeology, volunteering with the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). I continue to love any activity that puts me on, in, or under the water.

I am also a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where I teach cybersecurity, a field in which I have been involved since the late-1970s (and it continues to be a growth industry).

  • USCG Licensed Captain (50 GT Master 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
Jack McIntosh

Jack McIntosh

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

I have a varied and sundry past. I graduated from The University of Central Florida with degrees in Music and Psychology. I spent several years working with physically disabled children as a music therapist and later as a behavior programmer. Working in this capacity sparked my interest in physical therapy. I went on to The University of St. Augustine for Health Science where I completed my studies with master and doctorate degrees in physical therapy. I currently treat patients at my own Physical Therapy clinic in Altamonte Springs, “Next Step Rehab.”

I combined my degrees with the past experience of working with developmentally challenged individuals to begin working with physically, emotionally and mentally challenged individuals using dolphins as motivators in Key Largo and Grand Cayman.

While living in Key Largo I purchased a 32’ sailboat and began doing sailing, snorkeling and diving charters as a sideline to the dolphin assisted therapy Program. This fulfilled my need to be in the water as well as causing me to thirst for more.

I enjoy all that life has to offer. In addition to being a boat captain and physical therapist, I am a pilot and musician, having released an album of my own music.

See you on the water

Dan Moore

Dan Moore

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

“I feel privileged to have been Born, Raised, and Grown up, in Central Florida…and that’s a fact”.

  • Boat Captain
  • Diver
  • Hunter/Fisherman/Sportsman
  • Newbie Birder
  • Businessman/Salesman
George Texter

George Texter

Boat Captain

email: [email protected]

I owned a graphics business in Buffalo NY for 34 years. I raised three girls, paid for the their education, retired and moved to Ponce Inlet, Fl. I hold a fifty ton masters license and enjoy driving for the MDC.

 WEBMASTER

Lois Reed

Lois Reed

WebMaster

email: [email protected]

I am a lifelong naturalist. I worked as a Wilderness Survival Instructor at Project U.S.E., as well as studying and adventuring with Outward Bound and NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School).

Since moving to Florida I have earned my certifications as a Florida Naturalist in Coastal and Freshwater systems.

I returned to college in 2003 to earn my certification as a website designer. My art degree from The School of Visual Arts in NYC has served me well in my website design. I built and now maintain the MDC website. I create websites at Lois Reed Designs & sell my mixed media art at local shops and galleries. I also teach nature art in New Smyrna Beach, FL.