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2016 Writer in Residence Program

Diatom Class

"My residency at Lakeside Lab gifted me not only the time and space to write, but also the new experiences I craved to inspire and invigorate my work. During my residency, I cored lake sediment with the diatoms class, collected water samples with CLAMP volunteers on East Okoboji, and caught sight of a Prothonotary Warbler perched among the cottonwood trees of Lakeside’s waterfront. I found birding with Professor Bernstein’s ornithology class especially inspiring, as I am currently working on a short story inspired by mist netting.

This residency also gave me the opportunity to work on my audio storytelling skills. I interviewed and chatted with a whole troop of pleasant and knowledgeable students and instructors about their experiences at Lakeside Lab. As someone interested in podcasting, I appreciated the freedom to experiment and learn how to shape these narratives.

I am grateful to the Friends of Lakeside for supporting and valuing writers and their work. It’s an important and gracious thing that you do here. Thank you again!" — Jenna Mertz, 2016 Lakeside Summer Writer in Residence

Birds of a Feather Flock Together at

9th Annual Peoples' Environmental Art Project

2016 Peoples' Art Project: Bird

One-hundred seventy five men, women and children flocked together to form a giant, 100 foot American Goldfinch during the 9th Annual Peoples Art Project on January 30 during the University of Okoboji Winter Games. The finch was designed by Sara Lynn Dunkerson, adapted for shadow and mass effect by Chad Branham, and photographed by Judy Hemphill. The event is organized by Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and sponsored by the Friends of Lakeside Lab, Beck Engineering, First Lutheran Church, and Heritage Landing, and Genie Reed.

Summer Course Schedule 2016

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Iowa Lakeside Lab 2016 Summer Class Schedule

















Friends of Lakeside Lab

The Friends of Lakeside Lab was founded in 1994 to support Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and Regents Resource Center through scholarships and as a community resource for water quality monitoring, environmental education and research. The Friends is a tax-exampt, 501c3 non-profit organization. Friends membership and supporters include not only Lakeside alumni from Iowa and all over the world, but local and summer residents, businesses - in short - reflecting the diverse audiences and communities that Lakeside benefits not only locally but regionally and world-wide.

Lakeside Lab was highlighted in the University of Iowa's 2011 Annual Report "OutFront Report", and the Friends of Lakeside Lab was honored in 2013 with a statewide commendation from the Iowa Board of Regents.

The Members and Board of Directors for the Friends are made up of diverse and active individuals who have played a creative and visionary role in expanding Lakeside's education, water quality monitoring, and research programs and audiences.To learn more about the Friends and their mission, please see the 2014 Annual Report.

Since its incorporation, Friends has made many accomplishments, including:

  • A successful million-dollar capital campaign to build Lakeside's first year-round teaching and research facility, the Waitt Building, completed under budget and on schedule in 1998.
  • Expansion of Lakeside education programs to include pre-K through 12 and the life-long learners, volunteer opportunities and year-round programming.
  • Support for Lakeside's water quality monitoring and research including the involvement of community volunteers.
  • Increased scholarship and research fellowships for students.
  • Establishment of an endowment to sustain Lakeside's water quality monitoring, education and research programs.
  • Upcoming

    • Please join us for the Friends Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 20, at 6:00 pm in Lakeside Lab's Dining Hall. Enjoy a wonderful meal while learning more about happenings at the Lab. To RSVP, please contact
      Lisa Roti, Friends Executive Director,
      at: 712-337-3669 ext. 1 or at friendsoflakesidelab@gmail.com
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