A team from Montana Tech placed 2nd at the 2017 Pacific Northwest International Section of the Air and Waste Management Association (PNWIS) Environmental Challenge Contest held in Boise, Idaho in the Riverside Hotel & Conference Center in November 2017. The team was comprised of five undergraduate students from the Environmental Engineering Department at Montana Tech. The students were: Ethan Askam, from Helena, Montana; Carson Bechtel, from Pocatello, Idaho; Caelan Brady, from Great Falls, Montana; Madison Cyr, from Lolo, Montana; and Seth Garrity, from Great Falls, Montana.
Montana Tech placed ahead of nine other teams from Boise State University, Penn State, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Idaho, University of Puget Sound, and Western Washington University by formulating a holistic approach to address an abandoned-mine related environmental issue.
Two Montana Tech students also placed for their student papers at the PNWIS Contest. Montana Tech student Arundeep Taduri tied for first place with a student from Penn State. Arundeep’s paper was titled Moss Revegetation, A Process to Revegetate and Stabilize Mine Contaminated Area. Arundeep received a $350 award for the win. Montana Tech student Kate Moreira placed third for her paper, Design Improvements for Passive Subsurface Sulfate Reducing Bioreactor for Remediation of Mine Influenced Streams. She received a $200 award for the third place finish.
“Montana Tech teams have been ranked ‘top three’ for many consecutive years at the Contest,” noted Xufei Yang, faculty advisor to the Environmental Design Team at Montana Tech. This year the award was conferred by PNWIS President John Haney, an alumnus of Montana Tech’s Environmental Engineering Department. The Air and Waste Management Association is one of the largest international societies of environmental professionals, and the Pacific Northwest International Section serves five states in the U.S. (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) and the province of British Columbia in Canada.