The course was titled “Studying Place by Metes and Bounds” to highlight a form of measurement that integrated natural and social features of the landscape, an approach the readers wanted to emulate in the course. The course comprised three historically chronological sections: the early settlement period, the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, and the contemporary, mostly post-industrial, period. The challenges students and faculty faced in developing and participating in this set of courses are found throughout higher education. The abstraction of classroom learning from the context in which human or natural problems play out is a familiar challenge of disciplinary teaching and learning. Higher education is suffering from the fundamental contradiction between a well-defined normative understanding of the value of interdisciplinarity and the structural impediments to the implementation of interdisciplinary educational programmes. Academic administrators often use structural changes and incentives to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, but it is not enough.