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Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories

Mississippi metagenome
CBS students are involved in research at Itasca that is increasing understanding of how we are impacting the Mississippi River's microbial biodiversity.
In the field
Three ecosystems converge at Itasca. The spectacular variety of undisturbed habitats makes Itasca an outstanding site to introduce incoming CBS students to the Nature of Life.
From cattails to wild rice
The plants in and around the station are showcased in the Common Plants of Itasca State Park, a field guide authored by Itasca's director and a Bell Museum curator.
Field biology at Itasca
Each summer, courses in ecology, zoology, animal behavior, telemetry, mammalogy, ornithology and biological photography are offered at the station.
Retreat to Itasca!
Consider the Itasca Campus Center for your next retreat, conference, workshop, course, or group meeting.

Dr. Jon Ross to Retire

Dear Colleagues,
After 44 years of service to the College of Biological Sciences, Jon Ross will retire on June 2nd, 2015. Much of his early work at the University was in development of research techniques in radio telemetry of freshwater fish and other animals such as Antarctic cod, Weddell seals, and wild horses.

Jon took over the position of the Itasca Station Biologist in 1983 where he dedicated himself to teaching, research and outreach functions at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories. Dr. Ross received his PhD in 1996 focusing on the ecological genetics of zooplankton. He authored and co-authored 19 research publications during his time at the University. He was also very active with the American Fisheries Society, serving on several organizational committees. He was elected president of the Minnesota Chapter of AFS in 1987.

Jon wore many hats as the Station Biologist at Itasca including research coordinator, research safety officer, network administrator, controlled substance officer, and associate director in charge of the day-to-day operations on the station. He taught and co-taught courses in Natural History of the Fishes, Aquatic Ecology, Ecological Genetics, and Radio Telemetry, and was integral to the Nature of Life program. He held an adjunct faculty position in EEB. He served on numerous committees, principally focusing on the natural resources of Itasca State Park and the surrounding region. Jon also served on the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Scientific and Natural Areas (MNDNR) for five years.

Jon will be well remembered for his dedicated service to making the Station successful. He was awarded the University of Minnesota’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Service in 2005. He will be having a retirement get-together on June 2nd at the station.


Director David Biesboer

Retreat to Itasca! 

Learn more about the new Itasca Campus Center for your next retreat, conference, workshop, course, or group meeting.


ItascaCam is live! 

Check out what's going on right now at Itasca - the ItascaCam has a view of the Station from the Campus Center:


New Phone System at the Station

The Itasca Station has a new phone system!  Click here to view our updated contacts page with our new phone numbers.