Island Dolphin Care Staff Members

They say it takes a village to raise a child. At Island Dolphin Care, it takes an amazing collection of donors, supporters, volunteers, community partners, doctors, hospitals, staff and friends to create a place that generates smiles rivaling the intensity of Florida’s sun.

Deena Hoagland, L.C.S.W., C.H.T.
Executive Director, IDC Instructor

Deena received her Master’s Degree in clinical social work from the University of Denver, and Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education. She is licensed as a Clinical Social Worker in Colorado and Florida.

Deena oversees all aspects of Island Dolphin Care. In addition, Deena continues to work in the water and classroom with children and families as an Instructor.

Deena’s personal experience as a parent of a child with special needs allows her to provide great insight to families.


Philip Admire

Director of Zoology







Shane Watson

Curator of Zoology



Shane was born and raised in Las Vegas. He graduated from the Community College of Southern Nevada with an associates in biological science, and then from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree majoring in Ecology and Evolution and minoring in Biochemistry. Shane has worked with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins for over 6 years at The Mirage in Las Vegas,                                                                                                and with elephants at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Michelle Crosetto








Michelle graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a double degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  She has worked as member of the whale and dolphin show team at Sea World San Diego, helped to open Discovery Cove (in 2000),  trained bottlenose dolphins, two toed sloths and lesser anteaters.  opened ocean World in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, supervising animal training staff  and helping to develop interaction programs. She has experience working with sharks at Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay & Golden Nugget. In 2007 Michelle  attended graduate Veterinary School.  Her background as a Dolphin Trainer, led her to specialize in Marine mammal medicine. As a Veterinarian Michelle’s experience and training have led her to helping a variety of animals including sharks, rays, snakes, sea turtles and komodo dragons. At IDC, Michelle brings her expertise to the animal training staff and is our full time Veterinarian.

Nicole Diaz

Senior Behaviorist









A California native, Nicole has her BA degree in Psychology with minors in Biology and Spanish from San Diego State University. She has worked with the animals in the Navy Marine Mammal Program and with sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  She began her career as a dolphin trainer in Las Vegas and was there for the births of two dolphins.  At Island Dolphin Care she is a Behaviorist who will be working with the dolphins and families to make sure everyone has a successful and positive experience.

Lindsay Ashba

Senior Behaviorist








Lindsay holds a degree in Psychology and Communications, with a Master of Arts in Counselor Education from the University of Central Florida. Originally from Ohio, she moved to Orlando, Florida where she began her dolphin training career at Discovery Cove. She has been a trainer for several years and moved to the Keys after working with dolphins in Kona, Hawaii.  At Island Dolphin Care, she works as a Senior Behaviorist and is  one of the lead staff for the animal training department. Lindsay facilitates therapy sessions between the animals and clients.

Caitlin Olson

Associate Behaviorist








Caitlin received a Marine Biology degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University in May 2015. She is originally from South Dakota. Prior to joining IDC, she was a Marine Biologist with Sarasota Bay Explorers based at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. She currently works as an Associate Behaviorist here at Island Dolphin Care and participates in both training and husbandry of the animals and working programs.

Joe Hoagland
Chief Officer of Inspiration

As the “Chief Officer of Inspiration” at Island Dolphin Care, Joe is working with the animal care team towards becoming a behaviorist. Joe has grown up with the IDC dolphin family since the age of three. Joe received an associates degree from Florida Keys Community College in marine mechanics. Joe assists the animal care staff in all aspects of the program. He helps out around the facility by answering phones, working in the garden, assisting all of the staff and provides a great tour of the facility.

Mallorie Parsons, BS, CTRS
IDC Instructor, Internship Coordinator, & Veteran Program Coordinator









Mallorie was born and raised in the small state of Delaware. She received a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Radford University.  In 2016, she completed an extended internship at IDC and officially joined our team February 2017. At Island Dolphin Care, Mallorie works as an instructor in all of the therapy programs. In addition to working in the water and classroom as an Instructor, Mallorie coordinates and oversees the Veteran Program & Therapy Practicum Program.

Eli Smith, BS Sp. Ed.
IDC Instructor , Camp Coordinator

Eli holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Ball State University in Indiana. Prior to joining the IDC team in 2006, Eli gained teaching experience working with students with emotional and learning disabilities in a middle school self contained classroom .

At Island Dolphin Care, Eli helps to coordinate the Dolphin Camp programs. In addition, Eli works in the water and classroom with the children as an Instructor. Eli offers assistive technology assistance & workshops.

Kim Severance, MS, CTRS
Marine Science Education Coordinator, IDC Instructor, Veteran Program Coordinator

Kimberly Severance moved to the Florida Keys in 2006, after receiving her Masters in Therapeutic Recreation from Southern Connecticut State University. She was a volunteer at Island Dolphin Care for 3 years and joined the Island Dolphin Care staff in 2009.

At Island Dolphin Care, Kim coordinates and oversees the Veteran program and the Marine Education program. In addition, Kim works in the water and classroom with the children as an Instructor.

If you have any questions about marine education trips at our facility, or regarding our portable touch tank program, please contact Kim at

Pete Hoagland, MA IS
Program Manager

Peter holds his Masters Degree in Communication and Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University. Along with being one of the founders of Island Dolphin Care, he is the General Manager. On Camp days and Wednesdays during the 5-day program Peter enjoys being the “BURGER KING” cooking up burgers and hot dogs for all in attendance. 

Peter works closely with several Wish Organizations to coordinate extraordinary experiences to their families.  


Kelly Glista
Program Manager









Say hello to Kelly Glista, the wonderful and welcoming voice on the phone! Kelly joined IDC in 2017. She is an expert at office management, organization and customer service! After 10 years as office manager in the hotel industry in The Florida Keys, she has made the jump to the non-profit world and Island Dolphin Care. She brings her friendly demeanor to her new role, assisting our families with their applications and other arrangements.


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