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.

Congratulations to the 2024 Student Award and Scholarship Recipients! Check out which students excel at fulfilling 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 2025/2026 academic year. Applicants must be in school as a full-time student during the academic year of 2025/2026 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, or other related course materials approved by the university. Award checks will be made payable directly to the winners' schools. If you have any questions about the program, contact Robin Lebovitz at the Air & Waste Management Association Headquarters:

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)

Eligibility Requirements
Individuals must be accepted as 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 2025/2026 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 2025/2026 academic year will be available in October.

Application Materials:
Scholarship and Award Details
CV Template

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 Nomination Forms will be available in October.
Best Student Poster Award 
The A&MWA Student Poster Awards recognize student posters to be the best among 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.