Volunteer Profile: Rick and Jean Seavey
Rick and Jean Seavey have been research collaborators with Everglades National Park for more than 25 years. Honors include the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Award from the Dade Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society in 1989 for first use of large community volunteer groups in non-native plant removal (Royal Palm Hammock), the George B. Hartzog Award from the National Park Service (2009) Enduring Service Category, and the naming of a lichen (Heiomasia seaveyorum Nelson & Lücking) in their honor in 2010.
Everglades National Park Lichen Project
Rick and Jean lead the Everglades National Park lichen project, which is being conducted completely by volunteers. Major contributions have been made by three seasonal volunteers. Nine of 11 local volunteers are university students from Florida International University, University of Florida, New College, and Barry University. Support has been provided by the National Park Service volunteer program, the National Park Service South Florida Collections Management Center, the Everglades National Park Inventory and Monitoring Program and Science Communication Team, and the South Florida National Parks Trust.
Rick Seavey is the only known systemic taxonomic lichenologist in south Florida and possibly all of Florida. As of 2010, the Everglades National Park lichen project has identified 400 species of which at least 27 are additions to the North American Lichen Checklist. One species (Cryptothecia evergladensis Seavey) has been described and published as new to science. At least 10 others are believed to be new to science but have not been described. About 300 specimens have been delivered to the National Park Service South Florida Collections Management Center for archiving, and several hundred more specimens are currently being processed.
The Seavey’s are always looking for help! Call the Everglades National Park Volunteer Coordinator at 305-242-7752 to learn how you can volunteer to help Rick and Jean with their lichen project or with any of the many other opportunities available in the park.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
Did You Know?
Over forty species of mammals inhabit Everglades National Park. Though they often utilize drier habitats, many are also adapted to the semi-aquatic habitats of the Everglades. White-tailed Deer can often be seen wading through the sawgrass prairies.