Rick O'Connor

Author's details

Name: Rick O'Connor
Date registered: April 27, 2012

Biography

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Latest posts

  1. Mangroves and Manatees… man what a year — December 15, 2017
  2. It’s a Strange Thing, These Rattlesnakes — December 8, 2017
  3. A New Kid on the Block: the Cuban (Brown) Anole — October 31, 2017
  4. The Benefits of a Living Shoreline — October 6, 2017
  5. In Search of Horseshoe Crabs — October 6, 2017

Author's posts listings

Mangroves and Manatees… man what a year

2017 began as most years do, the Bermuda high slid east across the Atlantic Ocean and the cold fronts began to reach the Gulf Coast. However, this past winter was milder than normal.  Either the high did not slide as far east as it typically does, or the fronts did not pack the punch they …

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It’s a Strange Thing, These Rattlesnakes

The observations I made of rattlesnakes is just that… observations, there is no scientific study I am aware that supports what I appear to have seen, but I have noticed it – more than once now. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is a legendary animal in the southeast United States.  William Bartram mentions it …

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A New Kid on the Block: the Cuban (Brown) Anole

In our continuing battle with invasive species, northwest Florida is now home to an invasive lizard. Known as both the Cuban and Brown Anole, this animal has been reported from Big Lagoon, East Hill, North Hill, and Gulf Breeze in the Pensacola area.  I have seen it at almost every rest area on I-10 between …

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The Benefits of a Living Shoreline

Imagine this… You are a sailor on a 16th century Spanish galleon anchored in a Florida Bay south of Tampa. You, along with others, are ordered to go ashore for a scouting trip to set up a base camp.  You transfer over to a small skiff and row ashore to find a forest of root …

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In Search of Horseshoe Crabs

Back in the spring, I wrote an article about the natural history of this ancient animal. However, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is interested in the status of horseshoe crabs and they need to know locations where they are breeding – and Florida Sea Grant is trying to help. If you are not …

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Microplastics Awareness Month

For almost 40 years, the Ocean Conservancy has held the International Coastal Cleanup in September. Across the planet hundreds of thousands of volunteers clean marine debris from their shorelines.  The data collected is used by local agencies to manage this problem; such as discontinuing the use of pull tops from aluminum cans.  In the last …

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DNA Barcoding Our Way into Understanding the Lionfish Problem

In the late 1980’s a few exotic lionfish were found off the coast of Dania Florida. I do not think anyone foresaw the impact this was going to have.  Producing tens of thousands of drifting eggs per female each week, they began to disperse following the Gulf Stream.  First in northeast Florida, then the Carolina’s, …

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The American Alligator: a new nuisance for the panhandle?

I recently saw a photograph of an American Alligator (Alligator mississppiensis) crossing Perdido Key Drive on a heavy rain day.  This encounter would surprise some, and unnerve many.  The majority of the nuisance wildlife calls I receive are for snakes.  I have never received a call for an alligator but no doubt, my colleagues in …

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Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet, and others.  We will also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause, big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals.  Earn pesticide applicator CEU’s, forestry CEU’s and connect with partnership and …

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So What’s Good with Local Seafood?

Actually, if you like seafood – it’s all good! However, not everyone does and sometimes when this question is asked they are interested in not how it taste but where the seafood came from.   In recent years, there has been a move across the country to learn more about where their food comes from. …

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