WWU students sweep awards at environmental competition

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 8:27am

Students from Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment swept first and second place honors at the recent Environmental Challenge held in Cle Elum Nov. 3 to 6.

The Environmental Challenge is a competition where student teams prepare and present an optimal solution to a complex true-to-life environmental problem. Before the event, the students submit a proposal for how to solve the problem; at the event, the students attend technical sessions, meet with role players, and modify their proposal. They are judged on their written proposal, an oral presentation, technical feasibility, comprehensive approach to the solution, and creativity.

The student winners at the Environmental Challenge were:

  • 1st place: Derek Schruhl, Bremerton; Matt Ferguson, Visalia, Calif.; Matthew Moroney, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Reid Haefer, Olympia.
  • 2nd place: Doug Naftz, Park City, Utah; Marissa Capito, Juneau, Alaska; Siobhan Sloan-Evans, Redmond; and Emily Duncanson, Redmond.

Both teams won cash prizes, and the first-place team won funding to attend the 2010 Environmental Challenge International meeting in Calgary. The students are all members of the Huxley College of the Environment’s Air and Waste Management Association; the Environmental Challenge was held in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest International Section of the Air & Waste Management Association’s Annual Conference.

For more information on the competitions, contact Ruth Sofield, WWU assistant professor of Environmental Science, (360) 650-2181 or at ruth.sofield@wwu.edu.


During the Hydrogen Road Tour stop at Western Washington University June 2, WWU student Matthew Moroney debates with General Motors representatives Carolyn Normandi, far left, and Michael Johnston the merits of the hydrogen engine. Moroney is an advocate