In this program, we look at ecological systems in two ways. First, we use a framework through which we examine individuals’ relationships within communities and the wider society. Second, we use a cultural lens to understand the relationship between humans and nature. For example, in African oral narratives, representations include merging identities of the ocean and humans, contrasting of nurturing mother and dangerous mother elements, the ocean bringing children, extreme love, and taking extreme love, connections between the ocean and performance, and representations of the ocean in colonization, slavery, healing, and empowerment. In Japanese oral narratives, intimate connections are represented including magic gifts from the ocean, water deity wives, warnings of fishing, bodily sacrifice, and connections to spiritual traditions, people, and local places (Fay, 2018).