Susan Hollingsworth Elliott
Since 2001, Susan has been deeply rooted in rivers. It began with rafting and kayaking and has evolved to include stewardship action as a board member for American Whitewater, receiving a Masters degree in River Engineering, and publishing a national guidebook. It was through learning to lead river trips and teach others to kayak that she found this path.
International instruction and leadership exposed Susan to rivers all over the world. She has instructed for Anna Levesque’s Girls At Play programs in Mexico, worked as a support boater for Last Descents River Expeditions in China, and gone as far as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Canada just for some whitewater fun. Teaching and coaching at World Class Kayak Academy, a traveling high school for rising kayak superstars, was one of her favorite years in a kayak, by far. Susan enjoys the experience of watching her students grow and learn, both on the water and taking lessons back to our daily lives. “For my students, whitewater kayaking provides the foundation for achieving bigger goals and gaining confidence that translates to cleaner lines and renewed connection with the natural world. I most love it when the lessons learned on the river translate into increased joy on and off the water.”
In 2018, Susan took her passion for river conservation and paddling on the road with her Wild River Life project. Together, she and her husband (and future daughter still in-utero) lived in a 24′ RV and visited Wild & Scenic Rivers across the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. They hosted events, hit up festivals, and met tons of new friends. Check out their Falcon guidebook Paddling America: Discover and Enjoy the Nation’s 50 Greatest Wild and Scenic Rivers to see some of their adventures and explore one of these incredible rivers for yourself.
Back as a full-time Columbia River Gorge resident, Susan works as a River Restoration Engineer for Inter-Fluve and has a Real Estate Investing business that allows her to do the things she loves the most, like spend time outside with her daughter, Juniper, teach more whitewater kayaking, and volunteering with American Whitewater.
Interested in becoming part of the Wet Planet Team? Check out our Employment Opportunities.