About the Crew

John - About Us

Captain John Kerner, The Phoenix – Nags Head

Captain John moved to the Outer Banks in 1984 where he and his wife, Wendy raised their three children. He became a United States Coast Guard Master in 1998 and bought the Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 2008. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors for the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research. Even after more than 30 years of living here, he still marvels at the beauty the Outer Banks has in store and can’t wait to show some of it off to you.

Captain Carl Talley, Miss Bodie Island – Manteo


Captain Carl is a United States Coast Guard licensed 100 ton master, and has been following the path of the Bottlenose Dolphin, Manatee, Whales, and other marine wildlife from the east coast to the Gulf of Mexico for the past twenty years, and is looking forward to having you on board. 


Jess - About Us

Jessica Weiss Taylor


Jessica Weiss Taylor has a Bachelors of Science in Marine Science from Rutgers University and a Masters of Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Her Masters research focused on studying the specialized feeding behaviors of bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota, FL. She has also participated in several field research studies of bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, and predatory fish in Florida, South Carolina, Australia, Alaska, and New Jersey. Jessica has worked as a naturalist with the Nags Head Dolphin Watch since 2007.

In 2008, she incorporated the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR), a non-profit dedicated to conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, and currently serves as President and lead Principal Investigator of the organization. Jessica has 7 years of teaching experience in Dare County Schools; through the OBXCDR, she has presented educational programs related to dolphin conservation to local schools and organizations. While not out on the water, Jessica lives with her husband, Jay, and their two children in Kill Devil Hills.

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Mackenzie Grider

Mackenzie Grider just graduated with a marine biology degree from Rollins College and hopes to eventually continue her education in marine mammals into graduate school. Her internship in the Mote Marine Lab stranding’s department allowed her to gain more experience in the field and further fueled her passion. She has been a competitive swimmer for the past 15 years and is so excited to spend a summer working with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Watch (OBXCDR) where she can combine all of these passions. 




Waverly Reibel

Waverly Reibel is a first-year Master of Coastal Environmental Management candidate at Duke University. Growing up on the Outer Banks gave her a love for the sea, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to dedicate her life to protecting the ocean and its inhabitants. While pursuing her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Florida State University, Waverly participated in tropical behavioral ecology research in the Republic of Panama, where she studied the effects of asymmetrical tail feathers in Magnificent Frigatebirds. Also during her undergrad career, Waverly interned at a sea turtle rehabilitation center where she developed and implemented a public program that highlighted the anthropogenic threats impacting marine life. Once she graduates from Duke, Waverly hopes to enter a leadership position in an organization that works to promote the research, education and conservation of marine species. She is very excited to spend her summer gaining marine mammal research and conservation experience with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR).


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