NOL information for staff

Facilities

The Itasca Biological Station & Laboratories is equipped with a wireless network that is connected to the University of Minnesota computer systems via a T-1 connection.  If your laptop is properly equipped, you should be able to connect to the internet from most cabins.  You will also have access to Ethernet-connected desktop computers in the Library, Lakeside Laboratory, and the Computer Lab.   Improvements this year should allow you to use the internet as if you were on campus.  Note that the metal roofs of many cabins interfere with wireless access inside the cabin.

Housing

The enclosed map shows where your cabin is located.  Each cabin has a full kitchen (stove, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, utensils, dishes, pots, pans), so feel free to bring any grocery, snack, or beverage items you wish.  (You can eat all of your meals in the dining hall, so you certainly don’t have to bring additional food.)  Click here for more information about your cabin facilities. 

What to pack

Necessary & Useful Household Items

Suggested Personal Item Packing List

  • sleeping bag or sheets for twin bed (note: some cabins have larger beds)
  • pillow case (pillows are provided, but you may want to bring your own)
  • toiletries
  • any needed medications
  • bath towels and washcloth; hand towels are also convenient
  • plastic bags
  • clothes hangers (few are provided)
  • laundry detergent & fabric softener (there is a free washer & dryer)
  • alarm clock (or just trust the birds)
  • kleenex
  • paper towels
  • fan (cabins are not air-conditioned; fans will be available but you may need an extra one)
  • calling card (cell phone reception is poor to non-existent)
  • casual clothing (Remember that the weather may be cool or hot or both while you are here; be SURE to bring at least one sweatshirt, even if it is 90+ in the cities!)
  • hat
  • 2 pairs of practical shoes
  • slippers or shower shoes
  • rain gear (classes go, rain or shine)
  • bug repellent (containing DEET)
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • water bottle
  • swimsuit (please note that there are no lifeguards on Itasca beaches)
  • flashlight ( it gets dark without the light pollution of the cities)
  • Radio/CD player/etc

Recreational Opportunities

Volleyball, softball, soccer, basketball, and horseshoe equipment is available for use on the David Parmelee Memorial Field. The station has several canoes and kayaks are available free of charge at the lakeside docs. Flotation devices are required for each person in a watercraft and are located in the building adjacent to the dock.  The Lake Itasca State Park offers additional excellent recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, canoeing, biking and hiking, are excellent. If possible, bring your bike to ride the excellent 17-mile paved bike path in the park and for quick trips around the Station.

Travel Directions to Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories

It takes about 4 ½ hours to reach Itasca from Minneapolis/St. Paul.  There are two major routes.

  1. Take Interstate 94 North about 90 miles to Sauk Centre, where you will exit onto Highway 71 North.  Continue north on US 71 for approximately 120 miles, going through Park Rapids (the last town of any size before Itasca State Park) and continue on for about 20 miles.  About 1 mile past Hubbard County Road 113, turn left at the Itasca State Park South Entrance sign (also called Hubbard County Road 122).  Go about 3 miles, past the welcome station (if you have time to stop, it is well worth a visit!).  Note that you will need to purchase a parking permit at the park entry.  About 3 miles after the welcome station, you will see a sign on the left marking University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Station & Laboratories. Turn left into the Station and follow the road around to parking near your cabin.
  2. Take US Highway 10 to Wadena (about 100 miles from Minneapolis), where you will turn north on Highway 71.  Continue north on US 71 for approximately 35 miles, going through Park Rapids (the last town of any size before Itasca State Park) and continue on for about 20 miles.  About 1 mile past Hubbard County Road 113, turn left at the Itasca State Park South Entrance sign (also called Hubbard County Road 122).  Go about 3 miles, past the welcome station (if you have time to stop, it is well worth a visit!).  Note that you will need to purchase a parking permit at the entry.  About 3 miles after the welcome station, you will see a sign on the left marking University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Station & Laboratories. Turn left into the Station and follow the road around to parking near your cabin.