Jason Craig - World Class Academy

Jason Craig

Jason Craig Kayak Staff

Program: Kayak
Title: Teacher, Coach
Courses Taught: Algebra II, Comparative Literature, and The College Experience


M.S. and B.S. in Geology — University of Nevada, Reno

I grew up kayaking and exploring rivers. I am lucky enough to come from a family of kayakers who initiated me in the ways of whitewater before I could walk. At the age of nine, I discovered freestyle kayaking, which sparked a life long obsession with playing in rivers. Through my teens and into young adulthood, I was a member of the USA Freestyle Kayak Team and traveled nationally and internationally to paddle and compete on some of the best rivers in the world. To date, the highlight of my freestyle career was winning the 2009 Junior Freestyle World Championships in Thun, Switzerland. During high school, I attended New River Academy and World Class Kayak Academy, where I was able to train as a top-level athlete, while also receiving an excellent education. These years at kayak school were powerful experiences and instrumental in shaping me to be the person I would become later in life. At the age of seventeen, I suffered a severe injury while kayaking where I shattered my lower spine and pelvis after hitting a hidden rock at the base of a waterfall. Over the following years, I relearned to walk, kayak, and live following this massive injury. Since then, I have returned to high-level kayaking and started an academic career after discovering a new passion for structural geology and tectonics research. My graduate work the past three years has revolved around finding a power-grade blind geothermal system (think hidden hot springs concealed under sedimentary cover with no surface expression) hosted in extremely complex fault systems that can be used for renewable power. Now, life has come full circle where I am no longer the student, but a teacher at WCA. It is an honor to help the next generation of paddlers grow. My goals for paddling have also changed later in life, where I am mostly motivated to explore beautiful and remote rivers. My dream for the future is to merge my two passions of kayaking and geology by paddling the major orogenic river systems of the planet while mapping and documenting the geologic structure in places few other geologists can access.

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