Housing Information

We have several housing types on campus and each have different bathroom, bedding types, and room styles. The following is a list of our housing styles and units. We suggest finding the type that was assigned to you and pack your belongings based on the amenities that are included.  Housing is available for check-in the Sunday before classes start.

Stone Cabins

  • Most rustic living quarters, generally shared with up to three occupants
  • Twin sized beds
  • No heating or air-conditioning
  • Shared bath house located nearby
  • Sink with running water inside cabin
  • Small closet space with drawers for limited belongings
  • Closest housing to the dining hall and lakeshore

Cedar Cabins

  • Generally shared with up to two occupants, but limited single occupancy units are available upon request
  • Twin or full-sized beds
  • No heating or air conditioning
  • Shared bath house located nearby
  • Stand up dressers for clothing
  • Some units feature a shared screened-in porch area

What to Bring: Suggested Items Packing List

Lakeside encounters all kinds of weather and classes take place in the field. Below is a suggested packing list. Please come prepared.   

  • Sheets and bedding *if you are residing in a cabin, please bring towels, a blanket, pillows, and pillowcases/sheets (twin XL).
  • Towels, washcloths, and any other linens  
  • Shower shoes and shower caddy 
  • Sleeping bag and/or thick blanket *for cold nights in early summer
  • Personal fan *for hot nights in mid to late summer
  • Bug/Mosquito/Tic protection: hats, spray, lotion, etc. 
  • Sun protection: hats, sunscreen, sunglasses   
  • Bandages: regular bandages and a flex bandage-type wrap *VetRap has proven to be very effective and reliable, students often get blisters while in the field 
  • Water bottle  
  • Laundry detergent: coin operated laundry facilities are available on campus
  • Clothing items: rain jacket/gear-sturdy, close-toed shoes-long pants and long sleeves  *for cold weather as well as harmful plants that may come in contact with the skin
  • Clothes in general that you don’t mind getting dirty or torn
  • Swimwear: We are located right on West Lake Okoboji!
  • Additional items for Aquatic Ecology students: field notebook and wader/rubber boots

What to Expect Living on Campus

On campus, we have limitless ways for you to enjoy yourself both indoors and outdoors. We offer outdoor recreational equipment available for all students to use at any time you are not under class obligations. Most of the outdoor recreational equipment, as well as indoor common areas, on campus are signified on the campus map as “Recreational Areas”.

While you are welcome to bring your own recreational equipment if you choose to do so, the following are some of the outdoor equipment we have on campus for student use:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Road bicycles
  • Hammocks
  • Slackline

We have a fire pit east of the dining hall which students are welcome to use for bonfires safely and responsibly. There is also a sand volleyball court near the bike trail on the west side of campus.

In addition to outdoor activities, we also have a few indoor common areas where students often choose to spend their down time and enjoy the air conditioning. The upper level of the dining hall building, called the loft, has a television, bean bag chairs, and plenty of comfy seating where students usually lounge and watch movies together. The lower level of the dining hall, called the cellar, has a full kitchen, living area, and ping pong table where students enjoy getting together on the weekends to play games and decompress after a week of class.

Student Disability Services

Courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory are facilitated by the University of Iowa. Therefore, Lakeside students work with Student Disability Services (SDS) at the University of Iowa to arrange for accommodations needed due to a disability. SDS facilitates academic accommodations and services for students with disabilities to ensure everyone has equal access to course materials and activities. 

To receive academic accommodations for coursework at Lakeside and through the University of Iowa, students need to register with SDS. For more information on how to register with Student Disability Services, please visit the Student Disability Services website. 

Additional information for reference or use:
Disability-Related Absence and Deadline Modification (DRADM) 
DRADM Request Form (opens as .pdf)

Student Code

Iowa Lakeside Lab adheres to the University of Iowa Code of Student Life.  Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students and visitors.  Questions about the policies can be director to the Lab's Executive Director at mary-skopec@uiowa.edu

Okoboji Area Attractions

Lakeside Laboratory is situated in a lush landscape among a forest of trees, plant life and water in a part of northwest Iowa fondly referred to as the Iowa Great Lakes Area. The Iowa Great Lakes include Iowa’s largest natural lake, Spirit Lake and five interconnected lakes: West Okoboji, East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar, and Minnewashta. In addition to all of the water and natural beauty, the area is filled with attractions that can add to your adventure at Lakeside Laboratory!


Arnolds Park Amusement Park
Bridges Bay, Waterpark & Zipline
Central Emporium
Clark Museum of Okoboji Area and Iowa History
Dickinson County Nature Center
Extreme Water Sports
Goodies Handmade Candies
Gull Point State Park
Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes
Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Museum
Maritime Museum, Arnolds Park
Okoboji Classic Cars
Okoboji Summer Theatre
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

Find a map of our campus here