2021 Awards and Scholarship Event

Each fall, the San Diego Chapter holds an Awards and Scholarship Banquet to provide scholarships to student members who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement in the environmental field. The event is also an opportunity to recognize exceptional technical and environmental documents and celebrates the accomplishments of local agencies, firms, and professionals. Since the inception of this event, the San Diego Chapter has awarded more than $50,000 in student scholarships. This is our Chapter‘s premier event each year.

While we were unable to gather together in person in 2020, this tradition carried-on and the event was held via Zoom. Our keynote address was from Omar Passions, Director, Office of Integrative Services, Housing & Community Development Services, County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, who discussed the intersection of racial and environmental justice.

Interested in being involved in planning San Diego AEP’s 2021 Awards and Scholarship Event? We are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers interested in helping plan this impactful event supporting local students and celebrating the achievements of our colleagues in the environmental profession. A variety of roles are available, including fund raising, event design, logistics coordination, marketing, and more! For additional information and to join the committee, contact Chapter President Katie Laybourn ( 

Award Nominations

Starting in 2020, San Diego AEP committed to rewarding two $2,000 student scholarships and one, new $1,000 Diversity in the Environmental Profession AEP Scholarship each year. The Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship is focused on supporting high school juniors and seniors who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and are interested in pursuing an education in environmentally related topics . This new scholarship is a specific action San Diego AEP is taking to promote and encourage BIPOC voices within our profession.

Each year individuals, firms, or agencies submit nominations for themselves or for others for projects located in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. Individuals and firms are limited to one nomination per category. The AEP Awards Jury will review the nominations and announce up to three finalists for consideration to receive each award, except the Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Profession award, in which only one recipient will be selected. All winners will be kept confidential until announced at the event. Finalists that are not selected as the winner will receive a Meritorious Award and be recognized for their achievement. The winners are announced and recognized at the awards event!

Details for each of the award categories can be found here. Click each of the categories below to download the respective nomination form:

Please direct any questions, concerns, or other inquiries regarding this process to Chapter President Katie Laybourn (

Environmental Photography Contest

Congratulations to Lisa Maier, our 2020 Environmental Photography Contest Winner! Her photo, Sunset Over Point Loma, is shown below.

Thank you to those who submitted to the 2020 AEP Awards and Scholarship Photography Contest! The photos were displayed anonymously on SD AEP's Social Media accounts the week prior to the Awards Event, where members voted on the photographs. Lisa's photograph was featured in the SDAEP Newsletter and on the SDAEP website.


Scholarships for the Awards and Scholarship Event are made possible through the generosity of our event sponsors. Corporate sponsorship supports scholarships to local university students pursuing a career in the environmental field.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at several levels. Last year's sponsors will receive an extra incentive to sponsor this year's scholarships. Further, there is a unique opportunity to fully sponsor our Diversity in the Environmental Profession AEP Scholarship aimed at high school juniors/seniors at $1,000. 

Click here to see a full listing of the Sponsorship Benefits!

There are six levels of sponsorships available for our 2021 Awards and Scholarship Banquet. These funds support local high school and university students pursuing a career in the environmental field-- these are our future professionals! Help us continue this excellent member benefit by reserving a sponsorship now.

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Congratulations to the 2020 Scholarship Winners

Mulika Musyimi

Gabriella Whittaker

Abraham Alvarez – Dudek Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship

Milana Rodriguez – Harris & Associates Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship

Allen Arreola – Controlled Thermal Resources Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship

Caren Aguirre – Chambers Group Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship 

Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners

Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document: MND or EA

Ocean Breeze Ranch Project 15183 Checklist, County of San Diego Department of Planning and Development Services (PDS)

Outstanding Innovation and Green Planning & Design

ReCAP Snapshots and Climate Action Data Portal, SANDAG

Outstanding Planning Document – Plan, Policy or Ordinance

UCSD Hillcrest Campus Long Range Development Plan, UCSD

Outstanding Public Involvement

County PDS CEQA Training Program, County of San Diego PDS

Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document: EIR or EIS

SDSU Mission Valley Campus Master Plan EIR, Dudek and SDSU

Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Profession

Cathy Presmyk

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors

Level 1
Harris & Associates

HELIX Environmental Planning
Port of San Diego

Level 2

Level 3


Level 4
Katz & Associates
LLG Engineers
Sophia Mitchel and Associates
Woodard & Curan