Scholarships and Awards

Each year, the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) recognizes outstanding students who are pursuing courses of study and research leading to careers in air quality, waste management, environmental management / policy / law, and sustainability with respect to air quality and waste management.

This includes student scholarships, thesis/dissertation awards, and awards for best student paper and poster at the Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition. Winners will be highlighted in the Association’s EM magazine. The awards will be presented at the student awards ceremony during the Annual Conference & Exhibition held each year in June. 

Student Award and Scholarship Information
The A&WMA invests in workforce development and in academic research essential to the improvement of environmental knowledge and innovation. Through consistent support from organizations, industries, and Section & Chapter fundraising, students were supported in their desire to contribute to society and to fulfill the A&WMA Mission.

A&WMA International Scholarships
To support the future of the fields of air and waste management and to help full-time graduate students improve their knowledge and skills, A&WMA will be awarding financial scholarships to exceptional individuals for the 2021/2022 academic year. Applicants must be in school during the academic year of 2021/2022 to be considered for a scholarship award.

The award amounts are subject to change, at the discretion of the Trustees of the Air & Waste Management Association Scholarship Endowment Trust Fund. Scholarship monies can only be used for tuition, fees, student stipends, or other related educational expenses. Award checks will be sent directly to the winners' schools.

The following named scholarships are awarded each year:
•  Richard Stessel Memorial Scholarship for solid and hazardous waste research
•  Jacqueline Shields Memorial Scholarship for waste management research and study
•  Dave Benforado Scholarship for air pollution control and waste minimization research

 Additional scholarships are also awarded each year in the following areas:
•  Air quality research and study
•  Waste management research and study
•  Environmental management or policy research and study (Related to Air Quality or Waste Management)
•  Sustainability research and study (Related to Air Quality or Waste Management)

Individuals must be full-time graduate students pursuing courses of study and research leading to careers in air quality, waste management, environmental management/policy/law, and/or sustainability during the 2022/2023 academic year. Membership is not a requirement for the student or their advisor; however, it is strongly encouraged. The scholarship is a one-year award. Individuals must reapply to qualify for a second year. 

Scholarship and award information for the 2022/2023 academic year will be available by late October.

Application Materials:
Scholarship and Award Details
Template for Scholarship Applications

Reference Letter Guide

Thesis and Dissertation Awards
In addition to scholarships, A&WMA acknowledges up to two exceptional Master's Thesis and up to two exceptional Doctoral Dissertations each year. Nominations shall be made by the student's faculty advisors, who are members of A&WMA, only. Works nominated shall be original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the fields of air quality, all types of waste, or sustainability/management pertaining to air quality or waste. Awards are presented at the student awards ceremony during the Annual Conference & Exhibition. 

Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Award Nominations are due Thursday, January 13, 2022 by 1:00 pm Eastern Time.

Master's Thesis Award Guidelines

Doctoral Dissertation Award Guidelines

Best Student Poster Award 

The A&MWA Student Poster Awards recognizes student posters to be the best amongst those considered in the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral categories. Student must present the poster during the A&WMA Annual Conference. 

Local A&WMA Sections and Chapter Scholarships
Our Sections and Chapters often award scholarships to students pursuing environmental studies at universities within their geographic areas. Check with the local section in your area to see if they award any scholarships.