Cultural sustainability is the capacity of groups of people to develop and maintain modes of living on their own terms through knowledge, practices, social networks, and objects that hold significance for them. Over several centuries, the regions through which SEA vessels sail have experienced dramatic changes from European and American mariners, missionaries, colonial governments, and migrations. New species of plants and animals were introduced, agriculture and fishing techniques altered, trading networks expanded, and community demographics impacted. SEA students examine relationships between people and their environment, appreciating the myriad ways current practices are firmly rooted in tradition while wrestling with the challenge of defining and applying concepts of cultural sustainability in the face of shifting global and regional processes. Student research methods include participant observation, such as attending ceremonies and joining people in their everyday activities, conducting structured individual and group interviews, and collecting photographic and audio-visual data.