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Oak Lake Field Station

Oak lake logo

The Oak Lake Field Station is a 570 acre facility located in the heart of the Northern Plains on the Coteau Des Prairie. Grassland, oak forest, wetland and lake environments located at the field station display the natural diversity of the prairie pothole region. (How to get there)

A rich cultural history complements our multiple-use management philosophy. Nestled along the western shoreline of a prairie pothole lake, the station occupies the site of a former Native American village and homesteads to many settlers of eastern South Dakota.

Today, the field station hosts university research focused on biofuels development, biodiversity of prairie communities, fire ecology, prairie pothole and stream ecology. Facilities on-site also service environmental education, university field courses, conferences, colloquia, retreats and community service events.

The field station welcomes visitation by the general public (May-September). Reservations are accepted allowing restricted use of facilities by the general public. Separate fees are charge for academic versus non-academic users.

  • Admin class building
  • Botany team
  • Brown snake
  • Dragonfly
  • Entomology student kneeling in tall prairie grass
  • Group of bird watchers
  • Honors college students
  • Instructor holding a cedar waxwing surrounded by students
  • Monarch butterfly
  • Oak lake
  • Prairie flowers
  • Prarie flowers and grass
  • Red fox
  • Student conducting mesocosm research
  • Students at a beetle workshop
  • Students learning to ride horses
  • Students sampling vegetation




Additional questions regarding the field station should be directed to Dr. Nels H. Troelstrup Jr., Station Director.

aes logo

Oak Lake Field Station comprises part of the SDSU Agricultural Experiment Station research infrastructure.