Forests comprise a major component of the New England landscape, and in much of the world. Hampshire College land comprises 600 acres of forest! How do we know our forests, how do we treat them? We will look through blended lenses of ecology and social science, resource management and the humanities to gain an appreciation for the complexities and nuances of the forest as a socio-ecological system and cultural icon. We will consider, even incorporate, trees as part of your own well-being, as part of social well-being.

Through readings, writing, discussion and field work, students will discover cultural connections to forest, characterize forests by their structure and species composition, and design a long-term monitoring plan for the Hampshire Forest. Required outdoor activities include field trips and considerable field work (yes, even in the cold!) and at least one weekend camping trip. Considerable reading and writing are required for this course.