Megi Morishita lives in Newport, Oregon where she spends her time off the river as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at her hospital. When not working, she can be found enjoying anything from a class I to the occasional class V river. Twelve years ago, she made a promise to an AW volunteer, “If I swim today, I owe you a trip to Ecuador.” That promise was fulfilled this year. Her other promise when she joined AW twelve years ago was that she would do whatever she can to support their mission. So it is time to up the ante as she hopes to contribute more to AW's successes in protecting rivers.
She believes in our Executive Director's words: ”Paddlers understand that you cannot love what you don't know. It's our love of whitewater that makes us fierce defenders of rivers and their flows.” She would like to help AW continue to grow and connect with like-minded partner nonprofits, industry, and the membership and fellow paddlers toward this end. She brings with her experience as Chief of Staff of the medical staff at her hospital as well as involvement in various nonprofit organizations including Doctors for Global Health and Centro de Ayuda. She was Volunteer of the Month in 2007 when she worked with our Board to help organize a combined fundraiser/dinner meeting in Portland as well as to make sure the Board had an opportunity to visit some rivers in the Pacific Northwest that AW has been involved with including the White Salmon and Sandy Rivers.
Since learning to kayak, she has moved from Madison to Baltimore to Tucson to Eugene, and has met many kayaking friends along the way. She has also kayaked in Canada, Japan, Chile, China, New Zealand, Greece, and Ecuador. Having discussed river conservation issues with those around the world makes her that much more motivated to support the efforts of the AW staff and volunteers to accomplish so much, especially in the area of river conservation. Favorite kayaking moments include the awe of paddling down a rapid as salmon swim upstream, watching elk run across a river, and seeing river otter poke their heads up with curiosity. The strong friendships developed in a sport in which one trusts another with his/her own life is priceless, and she hopes to help AW protect these river experiences for future generations.