***New Course Description***
In New England, parcels of land were traditionally described in reference to specific existing landscape features—a system called “metes and bounds.” This course, grounded in the ecology, history and culture of the Bennington region over its 250-plus year history, explores human interactions with the biophysical environment to produce livelihoods as well as economic commodities from woolen underwear to carpenter squares and other manufactures for New England and beyond. How have these interactions shaped the area and how does their interplay constrain and enable its future? What features of social life and the natural environment have been, or should be, sustained? Fieldwork and practical exercises will provide an entry into the tools, skills and approaches to studying Bennington, a place of many horizons and boundaries. For students who wish to continue exploring questions developed in this course, FWT internships and a projects course will follow.