Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my dog or cat or other pet?

Visitors are not allowed to have pets on Station premises.  

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.

What is the mailing address?

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

What is the phone number?

The main office telephone number is 218-699-3550 ext 3302. Callers may leave messages for students at this number, but will not be able to speak with students when they call. Please let your family and friends know that it may take time for you to receive messages. 

Will my cell phone work at the Station?

Personal cell phone service is not guaranteed to be reliable. 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(s), but garages and repair services are not available. A state park entry sticker must be purchased from the DNR at the park entrance and displayed in all vehicles. An annual pass for $35 provides access to all Minnesota state parks for an entire year! 

What will I eat?

Daily meals are served in the dining hall located on the lakeshore. During field courses, students housed onsite 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. For more severe illnesses, emergency service is available in Park Rapids. Everyone living at the Station is required to have hospitalization insurance.