Reading and Knitting the Forested Landscape (BIO2242.01)

Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie

Why would a forest ecology course include an assignment to knit a wool hat? In this class we will explore the lasting impact of sheep on the Vermont landscape, from the earliest settler-colonizers through today’s small batch fiber mills and second growth forests studded with stone walls. Sheep, and especially a 19th century boom in merino sheep, radically altered Vermont’s forests and inspired early writing on conservation and sustainable land management. We will hone our field ecology and natural history skills to recognize signs of past land use in the forests today, learn to knit with local wool and explore botanical dyeing, and consider the impacts of our fiber and clothing choices on the environment today. No knitting experience required.

Learning Outcomes:
-Draw connections across land use history, forest succession, and landscape ecology
-Assess environmental impacts of past and present fiber production
-Practice natural history and field ecology methods
-Practice fiber arts: knitting and natural dyeing

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM & W 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Biology , Environment , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , New Courses , Updates