Name: Enya deFeijter
Title: Marine Science Educator
Position Description: As a Marine Science Educator, I work directly with the educational programming offered here on LMC’s campus, and out in the community. This particularly includes high-quality engagement with campus and program guests, as well as implementing and sharing tips, tools and training opportunities with volunteer docents in concert with the volunteer department. I also facilitate many programs on and off campus, and in the virtual world, including eco-tours, outreaches, field trips, tours, and children’s programs.
Number of years at LMC? 2 yrs and 4 months
How did you come to work at LMC? I started in 2017 as an intern with the evening beach programs, specifically the Turtle Walks and Hatchling Releases. When my internship ended, I went back to Michigan to finish my degree at Michigan State University (MSU). I really enjoyed my internship, and wanted to work with the Education team in the future. So, I took a chance and moved back down to FL the following summer. I interned and volunteered for a while until a full-time position became available, which I jumped on!
Favorite part of working at LMC: I love the people that I work with, and have worked with! It’s such a great community of women in science, and we learn from each other every day. Everyone is so hardworking and dedicated! I have made some of my best friends from being involved with LMC.
Favorite conservation/sustainability topic: I think my favorite conservation topic would be biodiversity/loss of species and the work being done to help preserve biodiversity. Conservation of ecosystems is just as important, if not more, than the conservation of single species. I’m excited that LMC is going to have a focus on the conservation of ecosystems in the expansion!
Something that has inspired you while working at LMC: The volunteer community. The volunteers that come from all walks of life, all different backgrounds, coming together for a mutual love of conservation and sea turtles. It’s really a magical thing to see!
Favorite items on LMC’s online store and why:
- MANG Ladies Long Sleeve Dri Fit Sea Turtle - I love the MANG shirts, and so does my mom! MANG is a great company with a conservation mindset, and this shirt is a great one to wear when you’re out in the sun kayaking through the mangroves. It makes a fantastic gift as well, I purchased one for my mom and she promptly ordered one in every color available.
- P.F. Candle Co. Teakwood & Tobacco Room and Linen Spray - I absolutely love P.F. Candle Co, and when LMC started to carry it I was so excited! LMC gets the seasonal scents around the holidays, and I think I bought almost all the “spruce” ones for Christmas in a previous year. I love that the containers and packaging are minimal waste, and I use the spray bottle when it’s empty as a plant mister!
- P.F. Candle Co. Cedar & Sagebrush Incense - I’m a big fan of incense as well, it’s a therapeutic thing for me to light incense after I’ve cleaned a room or organized. Somehow it doesn’t feel clean until it smells good too! I love that LMC carries this incense, because it allows me to get my favorite scents, while supporting a good cause!
- LMC The Boulder Trimax Insulated Water Bottle - Just about everyone in my family has one of these bottles now. They are incredibly sturdy - my little brother is a rock climber, and his has taken many a tumble off some cliffs and managed to survive the fall! I love that it also encourages people to use less plastic, and reuse items as a more sustainable option.
Absolute favorite item on LMC’s online store and why:
- P.F. Candle Co. Golden Coast Soy Candle - I love this candle for a number of reasons: number one, it’s a soy wax candle, so it’s much cleaner burning than a standard candle! I also love that it’s strongly scented, which means that burning it for a short time sends amazing scents wafting through the house, AND that the candle lasts longer. I reuse the jars for everything from snacks to makeup brushes, and you can even use the jars for up-cycled gift “boxes”.
What do you like to do with these items or where do you take/wear them: Outside of the candle/incense purchased (which are all for me) I purchase many items as gifts! I typically get most of the birthday and holiday gifts for my family at LMC. It makes it easier to spend the money knowing that it goes to a great cause!
Why do you choose to purchase items from LMC: I love knowing that the money from my purchase directly helps the sea turtle patients I work with every day, and helps further the mission of LMC.
Favorite current or former sea turtle patient and why? A former patient, Rudder, was a juvenile green sea turtle I connected with immediately as an intern back at the beginning. Rudder came to LMC with suspected boat strike injuries and spinal damage, as well as a systemic infection. During a procedure they also found plastic, which had been ingested by the turtle. I wish the story had a happy ending, but unfortunately Rudder was a patient that didn’t make it. The hospital did everything they could, learned a lot from treating this patient, and I was happy to have been able to “work with” Rudder. I actually ended up consulting with my tattoo artist, and he designed a tattoo for me based on some photos I had of Rudder. It’s one of my favorite tattoos, and people always ask about it!