Marine Systems Faculty

Dan Linder '14 & '16 | Lead Instructor

Dan grew up in Duluth, MN near Lake Superior and always had a fascination with being on the water. Shortly after high school, he purchased his first sailboat and taught himself to sail.  He became interested in learning how to fix everything on the boat so he wouldn’t have to hire someone to do repairs and upgrades he could do himself. After high school he worked full-time as the lead technician for his father’s electrical business which specialized in low voltage wiring, commercial audio and video, drive through systems, satellite installs, and other commercial electrical systems.  Never one to sit idle, he also worked seasonally as a commercial fisherman in Alaska during the sockeye salmon run every summer in Bristol Bay. 

After deciding to switch gears and fully pursue a career in the marine industry, he discovered IYRS. Dan graduated from the Boatbuilding & Restoration program in 2014 and the Marine Systems program in 2016. During this time, he also passed his Captain’s License exams and obtained a Master’s license with a sailing and towing endorsement.  After graduating from IYRS, he worked on large-scale commercial projects including 3 new tug boats for Reinauer Transportation, the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket ferries for the Steamship Authority, and the Governor’s Island ferry built at Blount Boats in Warren, RI. 

With his electrical education and professional experience, Dan was recruited by Tesla where he spent three years before returning to IYRS to lead the Marine Systems program. Dan is an ABYC Master Technician, holding certifications for electrical, systems, and diesel. He is thrilled to be ‘back home’ at IYRS. 

Spencer Dodds '21 | Program Manager

Spencer was raised in Vermont where he became a multifaceted tradesman and came to Newport, RI to transfer those skills to a career in the marine trades. Spencer’s passion for creativity has shaped his career path, leading him to have a variety of fabrication and restoration projects under his belt. Spencer strongly believes in IYRS’s non-traditional higher education path and is a graduate of the Marine Systems program holding an ABYC Master Advisor certificate as well as a NMEA 2000 Installer certification. He believes in the transferability of technical skills and education. While working with his hands is Spencer’s career, he also pursues restoration of cars, motorcycles, and boats in his free time.



Lisa Esposito '21 | Dean of Education

A former Fulbright English teacher and Teach For America corps member, Lisa Esposito earned her BA in Anthropology from Trinity College and a M.Ed in Special Education from the University of Hawaii. Lisa comes to IYRS with a variety of professional experiences crewing on classic sailing yachts and teaching in Hawaii, Italy, and aboard tall ships. As a recent graduate of the IYRS Marine Systems program, she is an ABYC certified Master Advisor in Electrical, Diesel and Marine Systems as well as an NMEA certified Marine Electronics installer. Having taught in both traditional and experiential educational settings, Lisa is passionate about IYRS's hands-on approach to learning and the invaluable life skills it provides. She is eager to help students discover their passions and begin fulfilling careers in the marine industry.