2023 Environmental Challenge

We are excited to announce the 2023 Environmental Challenge !

This year’s Problem and EC guide is available to download here:



The EC is a great opportunity for college students of all levels to compete for cash and interact with the professionals of today. Many of our competitors find career opportunities through networking with PNWIS! 

  • This year we return to in-person participation at the conference. (Virtual participation may be possible, if necessary – reach out to Melody – see below)
  • Student registration for the conference is a must (at student rates)
  • This year proposals are due by 5pm PST on FRIDAY October 20, 2023. You will get the EC tweak at this time.
  • Early identification of teams is VERY HELPFUL; Let Melody Kieneker know of your team’s intent to compete no later than October 13, 2023.
  • Final presentations will be held during the conference on Thursday October 26th: 15 minutes of presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

Contact: Melody Kieneker, PNWIS EC Coordinator


Students are welcome and invited to attend PNWIS 2023, even if not a member of an active A&WMA chapter. 

  • Student groups are invited to assemble teams to participate in the 2023 Environmental Challenge event held at the conference.
  • Individual students can also submit an abstract to present their own thesis/project work at the conference.
  • Student Presentation awards (including cash prizes) are given at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the conference.

PNWIS offers great opportunities for students.  Participating in a student chapter offers an environment to learn technical skills, get experience that’s applicable to the real world, and network with professionals already in the industry.

There are a number of active student chapters across the northwest, including chapters at:

  • Puget Sound University
  • Montana Tech
  • University of Montana
  • Huxley College of the Environment (WWU)
  • Boise State University

PNWIS may be able to provide student chapter and faculty funding to help support new and growing student chapters, upon request. For more info, head to the:
Student Chapters Page

Environmental Challenge

Each year, student teams from across the northwest compete in the Environmental Challenge, or EC, held at the PNWIS Annual Conference. This challenge tasks students withsolving a real-world problem in a way that is practical, economically viable, and environmentally responsible. Monetary prizes are awarded to the top teams, and the winning team wins a paid trip to ACE, A&WMA’s national conference.

For more info, check out the EC Page or contact the Student Programs Committee Chair, Melody Kieneker.