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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 11, 2008

New partnership to advance water quality in northwest Iowa

A new partnership to monitor water quality in Iowa's Great Lakes region will increase environmental testing and expand on-site educational opportunities at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Regent Resource Center in Milford, Iowa.

One of the nation's first biological field stations, Lakeside Laboratory is a 147-acre campus on the west shore of West Okoboji Lake that offers year-round research and educational programs with residential facilities. A new partnership between the University of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) will expand the use of the Lakeside Laboratory facilities for water quality analysis and monitoring.

Testing will be conducted in the Richard V. Bovbjerg Water Chemistry Laboratory in the Waitt Building, developed through funding from Friends of Lakeside Lab. Since its construction in 1998, the Waitt Building has hosted researchers who have conducted water testing and analysis on the Lakeside Laboratory campus and at Iowa State University. The facility provides students and learners of all ages with a teaching lab, a classroom and office space.

Peter van der Linden is the executive director of the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Lee Friell of the Hygienic Laboratory is the project manager for the new water analysis partnership. The UHL will provide administrative support for the endeavor and laboratory staff stationed on the campus to facilitate year-round educational programs and testing.

Beginning July 1, an expanded menu of tests will be performed on the campus with analytical results available in a timely manner for samples collected from northwestern Iowa.

"History is coming full circle with the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory renewing its commitment to Lakeside Laboratory and to the Iowa Great Lakes communities," said UHL Director Christopher Atchison. "This new partnership to provide comprehensive water quality testing for northwestern Iowa underscores our common mission to preserve the quality of Iowa's water."

The Lakeside Laboratory was founded in 1909 by Thomas Macbride, a former president and professor at the UI. When the laboratory was built 99 years ago, it was the only field station on the North American prairie. In 1936, the unique facility became a state institution. Today, the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Regent Resource Center is operated cooperatively by the UI, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa through the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Information about the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory is available online at or by telephone at toll free 800-972-6430.

The University Hygienic Laboratory is the state of Iowa's environmental and public health laboratory, with facilities located on the UI's Oakdale Campus in Iowa City and at the Iowa Lab Facilities in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb. The UHL performs analyses on samples from virtually all matrices, including human clinical specimens, air, drinking water, wastewater, soil, sediment, industrial effluents, oil and fish. In addition to performing analyses by specified methods, the UHL provides methods development and procedure verification for nonroutine analyses. Additional information about UHL, its programs and services is available online at

STORY SOURCE: University Hygienic Laboratory, 102 Oakdale Campus, H101 OH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-5002

MEDIA CONTACTS: Pat Blake, 319-335-4177,; Peter van der Linden, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, 712-337-3669,; Chet Rzonca, UI Division of Continuing Education, 319-335-2527,