Ruth M. Sofield, PhD

Environmental Sciences Department, Huxley College of the Environment at WWU


On February 16, 2005 the new WWU Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (A&WMA) had their kick-off event. The purposes of the Chapter are:

  • To provide a common ground where students from various academic disciplines related to air and waste management can advance their understanding of environmental management through an organized exchange of knowledge.
  • To promote a better understanding of the scope and opportunities available in air and waste management.
  • To present educational programs of general interest topics in the science of air and waste management and other related technological fields.
  • To promote working relationships with the professionals in the air and waste management fields.
  • To encourage members to participate in Association conferences, meetings and social events.
  • To provide a forum for student interaction and to support the development of collegial relationships.

The Chapter is active both on campus and off.

On Campus Activities:

  • Starting in the Spring 2009: The Chapter conceived of and implemented waste audits to be conducted on campus each quarter. The goal of this is to support a Zero Waste Campus by informing decision making with data characterizing the different types of materials in campus garbage. A&WMA students work with the WWU Academic Custodial Services, Grounds Maintenance and the Office of Sustainability to make the waste audits happen. WWU Athletics provide a dry place for the audits to happen.
  • Each year, during Scholar's week, the club organizes a career panel for students considering Environmental Careers.

Off Campus Activities:

  • Students routinely attend both the regional Pacific Northwest A&WMA annual meeting and the National A&WMA annual meeting. Student teams participate in the Environmental Challenge (EC) and Environmental Challenge International (ECi). These competitions use mock environmental problems that the students work together to solve. Students research the technical, scientific, policy, and cultural issues related to the problem and submit a proposal for how to deal with the problem. They interact with role players at the Conference and give a final presentation at the meeting. Winners are selected by members of the Regional or National Chapter. There are several groups that make it possible for the students to attend these meetings with financial support including the Puget Sound Chapter of A&WMA, Huxley College of the Environment, the WWU Associated Students, Cherry Creek Environmental, Amgen, and other private donors. Thanks!


  • The Environmental Challenge International (ECi), Air and Waste Management, Annual Conference and Exhibition – 1st place (2008, 2009, 2010, 2014), 5th place (2010)
  • The Environmental Challenge (EC), Air and Waste Management, Pacific Northwest International Section - 2nd and 3rd place (2004), 1st and 5th place (2005), 1st and 2nd place (2006), 1st and 3rd (2007), 1st and 2nd (2009), 3rd (2013), 4th (2014)
  • Willenberg-Hansen Chapter Recognition Program, Moby Award for the Huxley Student Chapter (2006)

For more information, contact ruth.sofield(at) or the Huxley Chapter officers at wwuawma(at)

Page Updated 10.16.2015