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Itasca

Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories is a University of Minnesota field station dedicated to research and teaching on how ecosystems work, with an eye to cultivating an appreciation of their value and preservation for future generations. Here you will find a collection of news, features and opportunities at and about Itasca.

Layered lakes fuel microbial hotspots

Some lakes in the area resemble the iron-rich and stratified ancient oceans, attracting attention from researchers who want to know why.


It should come as no surprise that plentiful lakes draw many researchers to the Itasca region. The fact that some are drawn to lakes because they resemble iron-rich oceans of a bygone era might come as a surprise.

Excuse you, lake

Study points to microbes below lake surfaces as source of nitrogen gases.

Brianna-Loeks-Johnson holds samples

Loeks-Johnson turned a collection of filters left over from sampling lake water into a display that greets visitors to the lab. The colors reflect the variation in the amount of iron, salt, fertilizer and other matter present in the water. Photo: Jonathan Pavlica