The diversity of ecosystems at Merry Lea makes it an excellent location for field studies. Studies interested in social, religious, agricultural and economic aspects of life in this region are also welcome.

JonathanMerry Lea encompasses 1,189 acres of habitat including bogs, wetlands, reconstructed prairies, secondary forest, and three lakes. The ecosystems and facilities offered by Merry Lea are available to faculty and students from Goshen College and to users from other institutions.  Studies in a variety of humanities and social science fields that could make use of Merry Lea as a base for work within the broader region are also welcome. In all cases, a research committee will authorize use of Merry Lea property and resources. Work can proceed if the proposed activity and level of use are deemed consistent with the Merry Lea Research Guidelines and with regulations and management plans for the property.

To learn more about Merry Lea’s research policies or to discuss your idea for a project based here, contact Dr. Jonathon Schramm at Once prepared, research proposals can be submitted directly using the form below. Proposals should be submitted at least six weeks before your intended start date to allow for adequate processing.

See current research projects.

All research at Merry Lea should advance one or more of the following goals:

  1. Contribute to fulfilling the educational component of Merry Lea’s mission;
  2. Foster interdisciplinary learning;
  3. Advance the process of scientific inquiry among students and citizens;
  4. Promote collaboration between Merry Lea scientists and outside investigators;
  5. Increase academic and public understanding of the environment through publications and presentations;
  6. Encourage ecosystem preservation activities and an enhanced understanding of the value of biodiversity;
  7. Promote wonder and excitement at the natural world and development of a sense of place.