Welcome to the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories website. I invite you to explore our field course offerings or consider our station for your research, retreat or group meeting.
Located within Itasca State Park, the station offers a unique and beautiful environment on the shore of Lake Itasca that includes access to the headwaters of the Mississippi River and an abundance of rare flora and fauna. Preserved by the Minnesota Legislature in 1891, Itasca is a living museum of plant and animal species that have disappeared from other parts of the state.
The station is owned by the University of Minnesota and operated by the College of Biological Sciences (CBS). Summer field biology courses are open to college students from the United States and around the world. Credits are transferable to most institutions. Additionally, CBS freshmen attend NOL @ Itasca, an orientation program, as part of the Nature of Life Series at Itasca every July. Several CBS graduate programs also hold orientation sessions here.
Itasca is also a popular spot for field research. In fact, field research conducted at the station has produced more than 925 articles in peer-reviewed journals. One of our newest endeavors is the Minnesota Mississippi Metagenome Project, which will provide a database of aquatic microorganisms to study human impact on the Mississippi River from the headwaters to the Twin Cities and beyond.
The field station is also available to groups within and outside of the University for retreats and meetings. Our cabins and dining hall accommodate up to 160 people. The cabins, some with kitchens, may also be rented on an individual basis.
— Professor David Biesboer, Ph.D., Director, Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories