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

Check out our Events Page for special events happening at Lakeside this summer!

Nature -- A Walking Play

Lakeside Lab in association with TigerLion Arts is pleased to bring the walking play Nature to northwest Iowa August 8-11th. The outdoor telling of Emerson, Thoreau, and their mutual love of the natural world will be performed by TigerLion Arts and local talent. The play was written and created by Minneapolis-based actor Tyson Forbes (direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson) and director/producer Markell Kiefer. For more detailed show information, go to friendsoflakesidelab.org or tigerlion.org.  Click here to purchase tickets! A special thanks to sponsors: Okoboji Blue Water Festival, Nancy Lauridsen, Lakeside Lab, Humanities Iowa, and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society. 

Ornithology professor Neil Bernstein holds a Rose breasted Grosbeak
2019 Summer Classes

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. We look forward to seeing you at Lakeside Lab! 

Summer 2019 courses now listed! Summer 2019 registration now open! 

Frog camp student holding a frog
Summer Camps and College Prep

We encourage a healthy, respectful and life–long relationship between students and the natural world while nurturing every student’s innate curiosity about nature. 2019 PDF iconSummer camp now available. Click here to register

Iowa Lakeside Lab is pleased to offer a College Prep Diatom Course in 2019 for advanced high school students who have completed high school level or AP Biology. PDF iconClick Here for More Information!

Scholarships are available through the Leary Foundation and the PDF iconLindsay Vonn Foundation.  Call to inquire 712-337-3669 ext 7.

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. The GLEON Buoy is back! 

Lakeside Reads Book Club

Next Meeting:  Aug 22nd at 11:00 in the Dining Hall. 

Reading selection for August:  Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson by Jeffrey S. Cramer

Child in Flower
Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Class

Nature Connections is offering an on-line course on nature-based, early childhood education.  The course will be offered both for re-licensure credit through the University of Iowa Baker Teacher Leader Center and through UI Distance and Online Education for college credit.  

To enroll for the licensure credit click go to https://tlc-uiowa.catalog.instructure.com    

To enroll for college credit go to http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/LakesideReg/LakesideRegistration/UserLogin

The value of young children’s direct experiences in nature through inquiry-based learning will be examined in this course.  It is designed for preschool and kindergarten teachers so they can develop their student’s in-depth thinking by engaging their hearts and minds through experiences on a nature topic.

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.

Earn to Learn Interns conducting invasive species inspections

Internships available for college level students with majors in biology, environmental science, education or related course of study.

PDF iconEarn to Learn Internship

PDF iconWater Quality Lab Technician

PDF iconEnvironmental Education Intern

Mariah Manoylov 2017

The Writer in Residence program offers 3 week residencies to undergraduate and graduate students.  Students interested in writing about ecology, natural history, environmental ethics or related topics can become immersed in the Lakeside Lab campus and culture to enhance their writing. PDF iconClick here for more information!

Artists in Residence 2017

The Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program invites artists, musicians, composers, and performers of all genres to apply for a two to four week residency.  Scientists and artists interact in new and innovative ways to understand and interpret the natural world.  AIR also offers community events to highlight activities from their residency. 

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 at 712-337-3669 ext.7, jane-shuttleworth@uiowa.edu.

Lakeside also facilitates Nature Connections, a unique collaborative of early childhood educators, professionals and naturalists dedicated to introducing children to a life-long, meaningful relationship with nature while meeting their developmental needs.

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.  


The Iowa Lakeside Laboratory offers a variety

of interesting events and initiatives.


View our upcoming events

Recent News

Nature Play, Tuesday Lecture Series, Lakeside Reads, Wild Wednesdays

Nature Play Opens Aug 8

Nature: A Walking Play will have its opening night on August 8th at 7 pm.  Tickets are available on-line or at the door.  Performances are Aug 8 and 9 at 6 pm and Aug 11 at 1 pm on the grounds of Lakeside Lab.  A special performance at the Okoboji Blue Water Festival will be at 1 pm in the Arnold's Park Greenspace.  

Tuesday Night Lecture Series

Ryan Clark will present Tuesday, Aug 13th at 7 p.m. at Mahan Hall.  Ryan will give a presentation entitled "Everything You Need to Know about the Northeast Iowa Intrusive Complex".

Lakeside Reads

Join us in the Dining Hall on the Lakeside campus as we kick off this new program.  Lakeside Reads is a book club focused on nature or science topics.  We will meet the 4th Thursday of the month at 11:00.  Come for the conversation, beautiful view and snacks!  Call Mary at 712-337-3669 ext 5 for more information.

Wild Wednesdays

Wild Wednesdays has ended for the summer.  Please check back with us in 2020!

Community Pages

Wild Wednesday Making Owl Masks

Free, fun, family–oriented science programs! 7:00 PM at Waitt Lab during the summer. PDF icon Click here for the list of topics in 2019.

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.


Photo of Bear
Friends Lecture Series

Listen, learn and engage with scientists as they share their research. 7:00 pm each Tuesday May - July in Mahan Hall.

photo of diatoms
College Prep Diatoms

Iowa Lakeside Lab and Regents Resource Center is pleased to offer a College Prep Diatom Course in 2019 for advanced high school students who have completed high school level or AP Biology.  PDF icon2019 Application Now Available!