The Team

Who We Are

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Mike Smith - Co-Founder & Executive Director

Mike Smith received his BS in marine biology from the University of Rhode Island and his MS in education from Walden University. He has loved working in the outdoors as a shark and fish researcher, a kayak guide in the San Juan Islands sharing the water with orcas, a naturalist aboard whale watching vessels, and a Program Director at New England Science & Sailing. He has also worked as an instructor on Tall Ships teaching marine science, snorkeling, and sailing in the waters around Catalina Island. He holds a 100 Ton USCG Masters Captain License, is an ARC lifeguard instructor, and has U.S. Sailing and BCU kayak certifications. Outside of Common Tides, he is a full time K-8 teacher at The Phoenix School, in Salem, MA. His passions are spending time with his family, surfing, exploring the outdoors, and cheering the Seahawks on to win another Super Bowl!

Katie Dyal - Co-Founder

Katie Dyal has been passionate about the world’s water since childhood. Her love and knowledge of aquatic ecosystems increased greatly as she studied, played, and eventually gained her Masters in Water and Soil Science. Since then she has helped with local reef conservation efforts in Fiji, Honduras, and Thailand as well as helping teach the local children about their oceanic habitats. She also worked as a field instructor teaching children about the Pacific Ocean on Catalina Island as well as an instructor aboard a sailing vessel along the California Channel Islands. She spent time working as a marine instructor in the Florida Keys, and working as divemaster as well. Outside of Common Tides, she enjoys exploring the Rocky and Smoky Mountains whenever she can. She also loves diving deep into yogic practices, especially yoga nidra.

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Tyler Fortune - Director of Operations

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Mistral Dodson - Leadership Director

Mistral has traveled to many places around the globe, exploring the oceans and participating in research projects from seagrass to marine turtles while completing her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Conservation Biology, from Murdoch University in Western Australia. She has truly enjoyed working in the outdoors as an Aquarist, Turtle Tracker, Marine Science Instructor, a Dive and Surf Instructor in the Caribbean, to Program Director with New England Science & Sailing and now a lead teacher with The Phoenix School. Mistral has well over a decade of teaching experience in the classroom, in marine science, in outdoor education and in professional development, specializing in leadership practices and skills. Mistral is passionate about experiential learning experiences that happen while in the field, because that is often where the best learning and growth happens. Mistral holds a 50 Ton USCG Masters Captains License, ARC Lifeguard Instructor, PADI Rescue Diver and has US Sailing and BCU Kayak Certifications. Mistral enjoys spending time with her kids, from being in the ocean to camping in the mountains to traveling and experiencing life to the fullest.

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