Lake Superior Research Institute

The Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) was created in 1967 and formally recognized by the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents in 1969. LSRI’s mission is to conduct environmental research and provide services that directly benefit the people, industries, and natural resources of the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes Region, and beyond; provide non-traditional learning and applied research opportunities for undergraduate students; and foster environmental education and outreach in the Twin Ports and surrounding communities.


  • Analytical chemistry
  • Aquatic invasive species monitoring and outreach
  • Benthic and zooplankton taxonomy
  • Habitat restoration
  • Microbiology
  • Sediment and aquatic toxicology
  • Quality assurance and data management
  • Watershed management and planning
  • Wetland assessment and monitoring

Student Involvement

LSRI has employed nearly 600 undergraduate students and provided research experience for countless other students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Many of the students who have participated in research projects have gone on to pursue post-graduate education and/or careers in the sciences.

Current and prospective students of UW-Superior who would love to gain valuable experience in a scientific research setting should seek out opportunities and positions that may exist as a student research assistant, work-study student, internship, or limited-term employee (available to recent graduates only).

Barstow Hall is home of the lake Superior Research Institute main office and many of its laboratories.

 Barstow Hall is home of the Lake Superior Research Institute main office and many of its laboratories.


  • Aquatic toxicity testing laboratory
  • Aquatic culturing facility
  • Chronic Whole Effluent Toxicity Testing (Wisconsin state certified)
  • Invertebrate taxonomy laboratory
  • Organic and inorganic chemical analysis laboratories
  • Microbiology laboratory (Wisconsin state certified microbial analysis)

Current Research

  • Aquatic and sediment toxicity testing
  • Aquatic invasive species ecology
  • Ballast water management system testing
  • Beach monitoring and microbial source testing
  • Biological monitoring and inventory of aquatic and terrestrial communities
  • Endangered species management planning
  • Habitat restoration
  • Mercury analysis in biota