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 and graduate level study in Water Resource Engineering. It was through learning to lead 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.
Continuing to find ways to reach people through kayaking, Susan became a teacher and assistant coach for the World Class Kayak Academy, a traveling high school for rising kayak superstars. Visiting steep creeks throughout the west coast, big play waves on the east coast, and touring through the legendary whitewater of Peru and China, Susan’s exposure to different types of whitewater increased exponentially. Susan enjoys the experience of watching her students grow and learn, both academically and athletically more than the destinations they were able to visit. “For my students, whitewater kayaking provided the foundation for learning life skills that set them apart from others their age. Lessons learned on the river translated into stronger characters and smarter decision making on and off the water.”
In 2014, Susan began a Water Resources Engineering graduate research program at Oregon State University. This became another tool for Susan’s integral role in the restoration of rivers throughout the northwest and the world. She actively work with American Whitewater, and has formed Wild River Life with her husband, Adam Elliott. Check out their latest videos and their 50 Rivers project, and keep an eye out for the launch of their new book, Paddling America.
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