Lakeside Lab

Owned by the state of Iowa and operated through the Board of Regents, we seek to provide science classes and research opportunities for university students, and offer Outreach Programs and provide services through the state universities.

What's Happening at the Lab

Lakeside Laboratory offers experiential learning at its finest! Any student preparing for a career in the sciences will find high quality field-based experiences that will give your resume an edge. All students; artists, business majors, pre-service teachers and more, will engage in valuable learning that will take you to the next level. Join us for a summer of learning beyond the classroom. At Lakeside Lab, we are helping you build career ready skills! 

Ecotourism Day on Miller's Bay

Miller's Bay Conservancy and Lakeside Lab are teaming up to offer the 2nd annual Ecotourism Day.  Events featured include Kayak Lessons, Try Standup Paddle Board (SUP), Nature Tours of Little Miller's Bay, and Scuba basics.  

REGISTRATION: Lakeside Lab Dining Hall (1838 Highway 86, Milford, IA 51351)

SUP Morning only: 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30, Noon (30 Min) Location - Lakeshore Center Camp Beach

Kayaking Lessons Afternoon only: 1:00, 2:00, 3:00pm Location:  Lakeshore Center Camp Beach 

Scuba 10:30am, Noon, 1:30pm (60 min sessions) Location: Lakeside Lab Canoe Dock

Guided Nature Tours Afternoon only: 2:30pm, 4:30pm Location: Lakeside Lab Canoe Dock

Prairie Lakes Conference 2022

Prairie Lakes Conference 2022 Registration now open!  Choose which sessions to attend and pay per session...

The Prairie Lakes conference will be held August 11, 12 and 13th.  Registration can be found at: PLC_Registration_Link

The Agenda At A Glance:

Thurs August 11th AM FIELD TOUR Francis Sites & Lunch (This session is free, but please register to reserve a lunch)

Thursday August 11th  PM Presentations (Arnolds Park Majestic Pavilion) $50

Friday August 12th AM FIELD TOUR Angler's Bay FREE

Friday August 12th PM LUNCH , Field Trip by the Queen -- Lake History, Water Quality and More $60

Saturday August 13th 8:30 AM Dr. Jim Pease (Blue Water Festival -- Under the Big Tent) FREE

Tuesday Speaker Series

Our Summer Tuesday Speaker Series is finished for 2022.  Watch for announcements for Science on the Menu starting soon!

Photo of Lakeside Campus and Shimek Stone Lab
Wild Wednesday -- August 10th 7:00 Mahan Hall

This week we feature Nature Crafts!  Bring your creativity and artistic side to Wild Wednesday!!

Summer Camps 2022

PDF iconSummer Camps 2022  Iowa Lakeside Lab's Summer Camps for 2022 open for registration.  Click here for registration.  Questions? Call Ashley Hansen at 712-337-3669 ext 7 or Mary Skopec at 712-337-3669 ext 5.

Scholarships are also available.  Click PDF iconhere to apply.  Join our mailing list for updates!

NEW! MyLakeside Student Portal

Students are able to access all the information they need through the MyLakeside Portal.  Registration, Enrollment Status, Scholarships, Tuition and Billing and more!  

2022 Summer Classes

Welcome back! We welcome you to in-person courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory for the summer of 2022 while continuing to offer some online and hybrid options.  Please check the Summer 2022 class list for information on specific classes.

Okoboji Writers Retreat

Iowa Lakeside Lab is proud to host the 2022 Okoboji Writers Retreat September 19-21, 2022.  During 2.5 days, attendees can choose from over 30 small group sessions, ranging from hands-on workshops to panel sessions on memoir, storytelling, fiction, non-fiction, and the business side of publishing.

Lakeside Reads Book Club

Meetings are being held by Zoom.  For more information, please contact Mary Skopec at mary-skopec@uiowa.edu

Friends of Lakeside Lab logo
Friends of Lakeside Lab

The Friends of Lakeside Lab was founded in 1994 to support Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and Regents Resource Center through scholarships and as a community resource for water quality monitoring, environmental education and research. The Friends is a tax-exempt, 501c3 non-profit organization.

CLAMP Volunteers collecting samples on West Okoboji
The Cooperative Lakes Area Monitoring Project

The goal of CLAMP is to provide long term monitoring data on regional lake conditions and educate local citizens about lake ecology.  Click here to see CLAMP videos! 

Lakeside GLEON Buoy on West Okoboji

The Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network conducts innovative science by sharing and interpreting water quality and weather data on West Okoboji and Big Spirit Lake

Water Quality

In its partnership with the State Hygenic Lab, we provide water testing services, and educate citizens on how to better care for our natural lakes.

Okoboji 3rd Grade educational program
preK-12 Education

Lakeside Lab offers many opportunities for experiential learning. We will work with you in developing a program that is appropriate for your school. Contact our Education Coordinator Ashley (Hansen) Scheve at 712-337-3669 ext.7 or ashley-scheve@uiowa.edu

Citizen Science

Lakeside is committed to empowering citizens to engage with science.  

On-Line Educational Resources

During the school closures, there are lots of great options for learning.  Check out:

NEW** All About Bald Eagles (submitted by our friends Stacey and the Lyndhurst STEMettes) https://wizardpins.com/blogs/education/all-about-bald-eagles

PBS Learning Media:  A variety of topics and age levels https://iowa.pbslearningmedia.org/

Iowa Outdoors: http://www.iowapbs.org/iowaoutdoors

Lakeside Educational Videos:

University of Northern Iowa On-Line Lesson Plans.  

Discovery EducationTake a virtual field trip

Pinterest and Iowa STEM activities

Cincinnati Zoo Virtual Tours

Discover birds in your backyard from tools at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Watch Birds Nesting Cameras

Bird identification tools 

Iowa Ornithologists' Union of the birds of Iowa checklist

Free Scholastic Learn at Home Resources

STEM At home learning calendar

Experiential Learning

Lakeside Lab features a variety of classes that offer hand's on learning.  Alex Braidwood's Acoustic Ecology class was featured on Iowa Outdoors.  

Recent News

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory is honored to be one of the groups honored as part of the Six Pillars of Character Award for the Iowa Great Lakes.  

Lakeside Reads

Lakeside Reads is a book club focused on nature or science topics.  We meet the 4th Thursday of the month at 11:00 (April - Oct).  Come for the conversation, beautiful view and snacks!  Call Mary at 712-337-3669 ext 5 for more information.

Community Pages

Treasure hike at Lakeside Lab yields little treasures

June 1 – October 1
This self-guided nature exploration and tour of Lakeside grounds is perfect for children, families, and “kids at heart” of any age. Pick up a treasure map at Lakeside entrance and go exploring for hidden clues and secret messages.

Volunteers doing invasive species removal at Lakeside Lab
Volunteer Opportunities


Work hard and learn about native ecosystems while restoring prairie and oak savanna at Lakeside. Then relax and make friends over coffee and rolls. Meet at the Waitt Lab at 8:30 am each Tuesday during snow-free months.


The Cooperative Lakes Area Monitoring Project is looking for volunteers to monitor lake health. Free training and equipment provided. Contact 712-337-3669 Ext. 7 for information.