Prairie burn at Goshen College

Sustainability Minor


At the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, we understand the importance of being intentional about your community. That’s why we offer the Sustainability Leadership Semester, a 13-week program that focuses on sustainable practices in your home, your food and the environment.

For a whole semester, you will live with other students in sustainable LEED Platinum-certified “green” buildings, cook food from produce raised on site and make group decisions about limiting consumption — all while learning about societal and environmental problems. You’ll spend your days learning about the local watershed by investigating Merry Lea’s diverse 1,189-acre nature preserve — and a week canoeing on the Elkhart and St. Joseph Rivers. Much of your learning will happen outside of the classroom: in marshland, prairies, living rooms and kitchens.

The Sustainability Leadership Semester is for any major interested in making a positive change in the community they live in. It is also the foundation of the sustainability minor and the environmental science major’s sustainability track. This program will help give you the scientific knowledge and practical experience to make our planet and society more resilient to the environmental challenges we face now and in the future.

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Jonathon Schramm

Associate Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Education

Joel Pontius

Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Education
Director of Sustainability Leadership Semester

Tom Hartzell

Merry Lea Coordinator for Residential Programs & Environmental Science Educator

Dave Ostergren

Director of Graduate Program in Environmental Education