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Susan Hollingsworth

Kayaking and rafting form the bridge between me and the world.  It began during my first year as a raft guide on Pennsylvania's Lehigh River when I learned that a vast network of boaters spanned the continent.  I soon ventured into other communities, traveling to experience new rivers in parts of the world I never thought I would visit.  Every time, the boating community made me feel at home. The thrill of kayaking and my love for our rivers evolved into my vehicle for developing other skills.  I learned how to guide and teach as a whitewater instructor, I began writing for whitewater publications and blogs to better communicate ideas and issues within the boating community, and I taught high school science and history for the World Class Kayak Academy.    Most recently my relationship with rivers has turned toward conservation and stewardship.  I took interest in the removal of Condit Dam immediately upon moving to the Columbia River Gorge, and quickly began representing the boating community at local stakeholder meetings and events.  Through this experience I've begun working with Riverkeeper Alliance partners on water quality monitoring, writing more on conservation issues and looking toward a Masters degree in natural resource management.    It all began with the obsession to kayak as much as I possibly could and take in everything the river had to teach me.  With each new river community I visited across the country, I grew more passionate about paddling new whitewater and connecting with the people who valued the river as much as I did.