Discovery Hall Programs could not operate its summer camps without its incredible staff of counselors. The majority of these individuals are school year teachers, with many years of experience helping children learn, work through problems, and oversee their daily needs.

Our counselors are the backbone of our programs; they provide care, support, and supervision for our overnight campers. They have fun in activities alongside campers, enjoy games and downtime in the dorms, and are our caregivers when campers get hurt or sick while away from home. Along with having fun, they are also our rule enforcers. Counselors ensure campers are drinking enough water, applying sunscreen, eating enough to fuel them through hot, busy days, getting along with fellow campers, and obeying all rules and safety standards associated with camp.

DHP Counselors are CPR and First Aid certified, and have undergone background checks, ensuring the safety of your campers while they visit and explore with us.


Marty Dunn - Lead Counselor

Marty has been a counselor at DISL for over twelve years. He taught 5th Grade for 18 years and now teaches 3rd - 6th Grade Gifted students at Harrand Creek Elementary in Enterprise, AL. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s University of Texas, Master’s degrees in Personnel Management and Elementary Education, and certification as a School Counselor from Troy University. The U.S. Army, with assignments around the world, was his home for twenty years. Marty is married, with four children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Danielle Boyd-Garrett

Danielle “Danie” Boyd-Garrett has been coming to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab since she was a middle school camper, which then led her to attend the high school Marine Science course. Prior to working at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, she was a camp counselor for the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee where she was a lifeguard, canoe instructor, and unit leader.  She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in December 2014 with her Bachelor’s degree. She coaches basketball, plays softball in the adult league and is an advisor for different clubs/organization in Murfreesboro, TN. Danie is married and has a dog named Mouse (St Bernard and Husky mix). The sea lab has become her second home. 

Nikki Cosper

Nikki was born and raised in Mountain View, CA, and moved to Sylacauga, AL in 2005. She received a B.A. degree in Natural Science at San Jose State University and a Masters in Education from the University of Montevallo.  In addition to teaching 6th grade, she is a voracious reader of books of all kinds, and is an avid horsewoman, specializing in dressage and jumping.  Nikki loves marine science, and has enjoyed being a part of Dauphin Island Sea Lab, either participating in classes, camps or visiting, since 2006.

Victoria Pendley

Vicki has been a camp counselor at the Sea Lab since 2013 and loves it! She teaches 7th & 8th gifted students at Daphne Middle School in Daphne, AL. She holds a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education. "I wish for..... learning to be like the world: busy, chaotic, and always in motion. Every learner to be part of our community. Learning to come from experiences. Creativity to be a habit. Mistakes to be viewed as opportunities. The freedom for learners to explore, discover & develop." Let's have fun together at The Dauphin Island Sea Lab!

Elaine Piazza

Elaine has been a teacher for Gadsden City Schools for more than 30 yars, and currently serves as a guidance counselor for the elementary schools. She received her B.S. and M.S. in physical education from Jacksonville State University and has her Education Specialist degree in Guidance. Elaine enjoys birding, gardening, traveling, and reading, and being a DISL counselor is on her “Bucket List.” This will be her third summer as a counselor with us.

Rissa Stephens

Rissa Stephens teaches 6th grade Earth Science at Emma Sansom Middle School in Gadsden, Alabama. She holds an Education Specialist degree from the University of Alabama, even though she is an Auburn fan!! Rissa’s philosophy of education is that every child experiences the wonders of science through hands on experiences, especially in marine biology!!! Rissa has been a counselor every summer since 2004, and she brings a group from ESMS every fall to experience fun and learning at DISL.

Ashley Allen

Ashley teaches science at Oneonta High School in Oneonta, AL and has attended numerous workshops at the Sea Lab in the past.  When not teaching science, Ashley can be found across the state searching for fossils with the Alabama Paleontological Society or exploring Alabama's caves.  His interest in our past is rooted in his experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student at Livingston University (now the University of West Alabama).  

Lori Blubaugh

Lori is excited to be a part of the summer camps at Dauphin Island Sea Lab this year!  She is married with two boys, and teaches 7th grade life science at Cedar Ridge Middle School. Her first experience at the Sea Lab was as a student on a field trip with Athens State.  Since that time, she has come to the Island as often as possible for workshops and training, which have enabled her to share many wonderful experiences with her students.