An eminent ecologist shows how an iconic New England island has been shaped by nature and human history, and how its beloved landscape can be protected Full of surprises, bedecked with gorgeous photographs and maps, and supported by unprecedented historical and ecological research, this book awakens a new perspective on the renowned New England island Martha's Vineyard. David Foster explores the powerful natural and cultural forces that have shaped the storied island to arrive at a new interpretation of the land today and a well-informed guide to its conservation in the future. Two decades of research by Foster and his colleagues at the Harvard Forest encompass the native people and prehistory of the Vineyard, climate change and coastal dynamics, colonial farming and modern tourism, as well as land planning and conservation efforts. Each of these has helped shape the island of today, and each also illuminates possibilities for future caretakers of the island's ecology. Foster affirms that Martha's Vineyard is far more than just a haven for celebrities, presidents, and moguls; it is a special place with a remarkable history and a population with a proud legacy of caring for the land and its future.