Lannoo's Lakeside Laboratory book available via UI Press

Lannoo's Lakeside Laboratory book available via UI Press

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The Iowa Lakeside Laboratory: A Century of Discovering the Nature of Nature by Michael J. Lannoo is now available in paperback from the Bur Oak Books series of the University of Iowa Press.

cover for The Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

Imagine a place dedicated to the long-term study of nature in nature, a permanent biological field station, a teaching and research laboratory that promotes complete immersion in the natural world. Lakeside Laboratory, founded on the shore of Lake Okoboji in northwestern Iowa in 1909, is just such a place. Lannoo sets the story of Lakeside Lab within the larger story of the primacy of fieldwork, the emergence of conservation biology, and the ability of field stations to address such growing problems as pollution, disease, habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change.

At the intersection of major ecosystems with distinct plant and animal communities and surrounded by what, ironically, may be the most intensely cultivated landscape on earth, Lakeside has a long history of rubber-boot biologists saturated in the spirit that grounds the new discipline of conservation biology, and Lannoo brings this history to life with his descriptions of the people and ideas that shaped it. Lakeside’s continuing commitment to bringing the laboratory to the field rather than bringing the field to the lab has supported a focus on mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate biology, parasitology, limnology, and algology—subjects rarely taught now on university campuses but crucial to the planet’s health.

Peter J. van der Linden, executive director, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory and Regents Resource Center, says, “Biology has changed greatly over the past century, but as author Mike Lannoo explains, field stations still have an important role to play. Readers will enjoy this engaging account of one long-established station and the many people who have contributed to its success. The pages are amply illustrated with historic photos that add much to the book’s appeal.”

Books in the Bur Oak series represent the UI Press’ dedication to celebrating the literature, history, geography, and culture of the Great Plains with an intense focus on natural history and environmental issues.

The book is available at bookstores or from the UI Press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at


Christopher Clair, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0900


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