Meet the Crew

Call 1-877-359-8447 to Reserve over the phone.

captain john kerner outer banks dolphin tour - Meet the CrewCaptain 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. He just can’t wait to show some of it off to you.


captain carl outer banks dolphin tour - Meet the Crew

Captain Carl

is a United States Coast Guard licensed 100-ton master. He has followed 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.

Carl is looking forward to having you onboard!




20210323 143636 e1b051bf 1920w - Meet the Crew

Captain Johnny Booth

is one of the captains of the Safari tour! He is a local legend with over 62 years of experience working on the waters of the Outer Banks. He is an experienced commercial fisherman, an avid outdoorsman, and is passionate about the history and conservation of the area. He is as local as it gets with family tracing back to a shipwreck back in the 1800s and will gladly share stories about life on the island long ago, just ask!”


jessica weiss taylor marine biologist outer banks - Meet the CrewJessica Weiss Taylor

has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science from Rutgers University and a Masters of Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Her Master’s 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 the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, and currently serves as President and lead Principal Investigator of the organization. Jessica has 6 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.


2021 Crew

File 000 dd0ea1e6 1920w - Meet the Crew

SHAE KELLIHER is a 2019 graduate from the University of New England with a BA in Marine Affairs along with a Climate Change Studies minor. During her time in undergrad, she pursued an interest in combining her admiration for the environment with her motivation to create future ocean stewards.  2018 allowed for her to begin her experience within the marine mammal stranding and response field alongside a growing love for environmental education. Since then, she has continued on to further these skill sets through organizations such as Seacoast Science Center, Rye, New Hampshire; the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts; as well as Saltwater Classroom, Portland, Maine. She aims to diversify her cetacean field knowledge through her time with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research while continuing her passion for community outreach aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch.


IMG 6987 738dac23 1920w 1920w - Meet the CrewKAYLEIGH HERRMANN  is an OBX local,  is thrilled to be joining the OBXCDR and Nags Head Dolphin Watch teams for Summer 2021! A 2020 graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she graduated with degrees in Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences. During her final year of study, she completed an undergraduate honors thesis under Dr. Michael Tift, where she calculated naturally occurring levels of carbon monoxide in the tissues of bottlenose dolphins. She had the honor of being selected as a 2018 NOAA Hollings Scholarship recipient and was acknowledged as a Distinguished Undergraduate Research Scholar with the UNCW Honors College in May 2020. She is excited to work with a dynamic group of collaborators this summer and help contribute to research on such a charismatic keystone species.



chloe+pic 1920w - Meet the CrewCHLOE HANSUM  grew up in Colorado, she loves spending time outside exploring the natural world. She is a recent graduate from Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa where she graduated with a biology major and environmental science minor. Chloe had the opportunity to intern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researching the development of Arctic cod and intern with the US Fish and Wildlife Service analyzing habitat suitability of endangered bumblebees. With a strong interest in whales and dolphins, in the future, Chloe hopes to research the impacts of climate change on marine mammals. Chloe is beyond excited to join the OBXCDR and the Nags Head Dolphin Watch team this summer!

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