Iowa Lakeside Lab

The year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the diatom course at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. In 1963, Dr. Gene Stoermer started an informal gathering, a "Diatom Clinic", as forum for people interested in diatoms to gather and learn from one another. After Gene initiated the course, Dr. Charlie Reimer taught for many years, with Gene returning to teach for another 10 years starting in 1990. From those strong beginnings, the course has continued the tradition of training students and professionals during an intensive period of focus, in a field setting. Several courses are being offered this summer as well as the North American Diatom Symposium (NADS) 2-4 October, 2024. 

A former student from the 1963 class, Gerry Haukoos, sent a note in remembrance of Gene. He recalled that the first morning of the class in 1963, he overheard Dr. John Dodd instructing his former graduate student (Gene) in the adjoining room. John Dodd said something like, "you're in the big time now, go get'em". This exchange occurred when John and Gene were in a stone lab, in the midst of the cornfields of northwest Iowa. For many years of teaching the summer course, Gene would end his lectures with, "Now go forth and do great things". All the students that pass through this stone building have done exactly that.

In 2023, student Andrew Burgess produced a short film on the people, the history, and the focus of the course, diatoms. Enjoy!