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Classroom of students watching a powerpoint lecture in the Biome Center Auditorium at Itasca Station
Bring your class to Itasca

In addition to our own educational programming, the Itasca Station invites instructors from the University of Minnesota and outside higher education institutions to teach their course (or part of a course) at the station. In the past, we have hosted Soil Science and Hydrogeology field courses, as well as shorter stays for "field trips" from Landscape Architecture and Natural Resource Management courses. The common thread in all visiting courses is a focus on environmental science and the natural world.

Our Campus

The station is a campus in its own right, but it’s also much more, because of our prime location for immersion learning in a field setting in the north woods of Minnesota. We offer technology-enabled classrooms, well-equipped laboratories and support spaces, a computer lab, high-speed internet and wifi, and a library. Some of our classrooms are housed in our LEED certified Biome Center (built in 2014). Others are located in historic buildings spread across our 49 acre campus. We offer spaces to do clean laboratory-based teaching as well as spaces that are amenable to field-based teaching allowing instructors and students to bring “the outside in”, where tracking in dirt and examining field collections are not only tolerated but encouraged! Additionally, our fully equipped waterfront and boathouse enables instructors to take students out on Lake Itasca or trailer boats to nearby waterbodies.

Unlike a typical campus, students are housed in bunkhouses instead of dorms. Faculty stay in fully equipped cabins.  Students eat in our dining hall alongside their professors, enjoying home-cooked style meals prepared by our caring staff. In their downtime, students paddle station canoes and kayaks, bike and hike on state park trails, play volleyball and soccer on our fields, and play boardgames and ping pong in our assembly hall.

See our Our Facility page for detailed descriptions of our teaching and public spaces, bunkhouses, faculty cabins, and other station amenities.

Teaching Support

Education specialists on station staff are ready to help you onboard your students into the learning environment at Itasca. Students may have some trepidation about taking field-based courses, and we have resources for instructors to share with their students to help alleviate some of the unknowns about living and learning at a field station and to orient themselves to Itasca State Park. We also can help instructors identify sites in the Park and surrounding area that are well suited for class activities. 

Recent courses hosted at the station

Soil, Water, and Climate: Field Study of Soils | Hydrogeology | Glacial Geology | Geology Field Studies | Itasca Cell And Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory | Wild Rice Camp | Limnology | Arctic Ecology

Learn more

If you are interested in learning more about scheduling your course at Itasca, please reach out to us at ibsl@umn.edu, and we are happy to answer any questions and help you think through the options that are available.