Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I bring my dog or cat or other pet?

Visitors are not allowed to have pets on Station premises. Service animals are allowed, but Station Staff must be notified prior to arrival so necessary accommodations can be made. Animals are not allowed in the Station's dining hall or in laboratory spaces.

Does the Station have WiFi?

There is UMN WiFi available throughout the station, so you should be able to connect with your personal device(s) using our UMN networks.  There are computers, printers, and scanners available for students to use in the Think/Write room in the Biome Center (Building 75) that have ethernet connections if needed.

Will my cell phone work at the Station?

Personal cell phone service is not guaranteed to be reliable. Cell phones using the Verizon network tend to have the best service. However, we have added cell phone boosters on campus that allow most phones to connect with their service, especially near these boosters – located in the Assembly Hall (Building 53), the Biome Center (Building 75), and Lab 48. There are courtesy phones located in these locations as well.

Can I bring my car?

You may bring your own car, but garages and repair services are not available at the Station. A state park entry sticker must be purchased from the DNR at the park entrance and displayed in all vehicles at the Station (MN state vehicles are exempt from this requirement). An annual pass for $35 provides access to all Minnesota state parks for an entire year! 

What will I eat?

During the summer season, daily meals are served in the dining hall located on the lakeshore. Students in field courses are housed onsite and must purchase the meal plan. The cost is comparable to dining services on the Twin Cities campus. Meals are served all-you-can-eat buffet style and prices include all beverages, snacks, and desserts. Vegetarian options are available at every meal, and the kitchen staff will make every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions. 

What should I bring?

Guests must bring their own bed sheets (twin sized) or sleeping bag, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, and towels. Since the nights are often cool, it is suggested that students bring a warm blanket. Essential personal items include clothing for varying weather conditions (sweaters, sweatshirts, shorts, pants, t-shirts, shoes or boots for fieldwork, a warm jacket, warm socks, rain gear and a swimsuit), a flashlight, notebooks, writing utensils, a calculator, sunscreen, bug repellent and laundry detergent.

What happens if I get sick?

Medications for minor problems (e.g., colds and poison ivy) are kept in the Itasca Admin office, there is not a medical professional on staff at the Station. For more severe illnesses or injuries, emergency service is available in Park Rapids. Everyone living at the Station is required to have hospitalization insurance.

Can I get mail at the Station?

You may receive mail or packages at the Station, but just keep in mind that it may take longer for items to reach you at the Station. Don't have anything sent to the Station close to the end dates of your program. Mail at the Station is sorted at the Biome Center. The mailing address of the Station is:

Itasca Biological Station
University of Minnesota
28131 University Circle
Lake Itasca, MN 56470