Rick O'Connor

Author's details

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


Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Latest posts

  1. A Potential Problem, the Cuban Treefrog — March 10, 2018
  2. It is March and Snakes are on the Move — March 9, 2018
  3. NISAW 2018: Where are we on the Management of Lionfish? — February 28, 2018
  4. There is a Need to Report Invasive Species — February 26, 2018
  5. Two Manatees in Two Weeks — February 16, 2018

Author's posts listings

A Potential Problem, the Cuban Treefrog

As we come to the end of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW), I need to educate everyone on a potential invasive threat, a classic Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) species – the Cuban Treefrog. This treefrog was first introduced into to south Florida in the 1920’s. Like lionfish, it quickly became established and began …

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It is March and Snakes are on the Move

Most people know that snakes are ectothermic and the environment is what regulates their body temperature. However, many do not know that they like to maintain their temperature close to 98 F like us.  To do this they must move to locations where they can either warm (like basking in the sun or lying on …

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NISAW 2018: Where are we on the Management of Lionfish?

Since the first lionfish was spotted off Pensacola in 2010, panhandle organizations have been busy trying to control the spread of this invasive species. The story is well known to many… the lionfish is a voracious predator, consuming at least 70 different species of small reef fish, including vermillion snapper.  They reproduce frequently, producing an …

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There is a Need to Report Invasive Species

The topic of invasive species has been with Floridians for decades. Stories of large pythons, exotic lizards, and crazy ants have been coming out of south Florida for years. Brazilian Pepper, Australian Pine, and Melaleuca are just three species of trees that have invaded the Everglades and other south Florida ecosystems. Though we are having …

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Two Manatees in Two Weeks

As a young boy growing up here in the panhandle, I had heard of this thing called a manatee – but had never seen one. They came more into the light when I was a teenager and becoming interested in marine biology.  I was the president of the high school marine biology club and one …

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Cold Stunned Marine Life

Man what a winter! Between multiple days below freezing, tough traveling, and the flu it has been a brutal winter season so far. It is not that different for some of our marine wildlife friends. The low temperatures have driven marine water temperatures down as well, particularly in the shallow areas.   There have been many …

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Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part 2

In the last article, we discussed what phytoplankton are, what their needs were, and their importance to marine life throughout the Gulf and coastal estuaries. In this article, we will discuss the different types of phytoplankton found in our waters. Marine scientists interested in the diversity and abundance of phytoplankton will typically sample using a …

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Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part I

Last year I began a series of articles on the Gulf of Mexico. They focused on the physical Gulf – water, currents, and the ocean floor.  This year the articles will focus on the life within the Gulf, and there is a lot of it. We will begin with the base of food web systems, …

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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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