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! 

Miller's Bay Ecotourism Day

Join us for the 1st Annual Miller's Bay Ecotourism Day on September 5th!  The day will focus on the beauty and environment of Miller's Bay on West Okoboji Lake.  Lakeside Lab will host a bird hike at 11:00 a.m. and a kayak tour of the bay at 1:00 pm.  Meet at the Dining Hall on the north end of campus for both events.  We will have a limited number of kayaks available for use on a first come, first serve basis.  

Science on the Menu

Science on the Menu is back on September 21st!  Mike Hawkins - fisheries biologist with the Iowa DNR -- will share new results on lake quality in the Iowa Great Lakes!  To reserve your spot, email friendsoflakesidelab@gmail.com or call 712-337-3369 ext 1.  Participation will be limited to 60 people due to Covid. Event starts at 5:00 with social hour, dinner at 6 pm and the presentation at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday Speakers

Our Summer Speaker series has wrapped for 2021!  Please check out dates and times for Science on the Menu returning this September!!

Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesdays have wrapped up for 2021!  Join us in 2022 for more adventures in the wild....

2021 Summer Classes

Classes for 2021 will be offered in a variety of formats (in-person, on-line and hybrid).  Please check the Summer 2021 class list for information on specific classes.

Frog camp student holding a frog
Summer Camps


There is still time to register for summer camps.  PDF iconRevised 2021 Camp ListPDF icon.  Click here to register.  


Applications for Summer 2022 will open in Winter 2021.  

On-Line Educational Resources

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

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

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. Application Materials

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. 

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 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.

Citizen Science

Lakeside is committed to empowering citizens to engage with science.  

Wild Wednesday

Wild Wednesday July 14th -- Plant Identification.  Susan Hill with Green Iowa AmeriCorps will teach basic plant identification and lead participants on a hike.  7 p.m. at Mahan Hall.  

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.  


Tuesday Night Speaker Series Returns!  July 27th 6:00 pm in Mahan Hall.  Chad Elliott performs nature-inspired songs.

Wild Wednesdays!  July 28th at 7:00 at Waitt Lab

View our upcoming events

Recent News

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.