More research is needed to properly represent social-ecological system (SES) interactions that support the integrity of biological and cultural, i.e., biocultural, relationships in places experiencing environmental, economic, and social change. In this paper we offer a novel methodology to address this need through the development of place-based indicators and engagement of young people as coresearchers in two communities that rely on resource extraction industries (specifically, oil and gas) in Canada and South Africa. Young people’s SES experiences were explored through a suite of participatory qualitative methods, including Q methodology, visioning exercises, ESRI Survey 123, participatory mapping and photography, and spatial image capture via unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e., drones. These methods support a biocultural approach to SES research that seeks to better understand the significant SES relationships at stake in changing environmental, economic, and social context. Here we present our research process and conclude that a focus on place supports the feedback loop between existing SES frameworks and local experiences. We suggest that this methodology can be amended for diverse localities and unique populations to support the development of efficacious policies, SES management, and community efforts toward building resilience, sustainability, and well-being of both humans and natural environments.