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Station Services

Oak Lake Field Station is available for use by educational groups, civic organizations, government agencies, private families and religious organizations. Limited facilities are available for camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing and picnic activities. Individuals must contact the Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University to check availability on the proposed usage dates before making online reservations. Hunting, off-road driving, unauthorized collecting of plants and animals, excavation, alcoholic beverages and pets are prohibited on field station property.

Nebraska Hastings College



Students from Nebraska's Hastings College visit Oak Lake Field Station in June as part of a class studying prairie habitats. Field Station staff provide a guided tour of Oak Lake on the station's research boat.

SDSU Honors College



The SDState Honors College conducts its annual fall picnic and welcome at Oak Lake Field Station. Participating students were taken on a guided tour of station habitats.

Project WILD



Budding science teachers receive instruction with Project WILD curriculum materials at Oak Lake Field Station during fall semester. The field station has a long history of environmental education instruction for public school teachers and students.

Beetle workshop




Carabid beetle workshop offered by USDA staff has been offered every other year at Oak Lake.




The SDState volleyball team utilizes Oak Lake Field Station for a team building retreat prior to the beginning of the season.

The field station is open throughout the year to the general public. Most activities are limited to spring, summer, and fall months due to severe winter traveling conditions. Cross-country skiing and ice fishing are popular winter activities. During the warmer months, the station's activities include undergraduate and graduate research, environmental workshops, summer science camp for middle-schoolers, nature hikes (hardwood forest, upland prairies, wetlands and lake environments), canoeing, swimming, and overnight camping.  Camping is restricted to tents and certain locations on the field station property.

Additional questions regarding the field station