Awards


2021 Awards and Scholarship Event

San Diego AEP is excited to announce the 2021 Awards and Scholarship Event will be held virtually on Thursday, October 7th from 12:00pm to 1:30pm!

It's time to show off what you and your team have been working so hard on! If you have worked on CEQA or NEPA-related projects in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside Counties in the past year, submit a nomination application to win a shiny, new AEP Award. San Diego AEP is now also accepting applications for two different scholarship opportunities for students interested in the environmental field. All awards and scholarships are made possible by our event sponsors! See below for details on how to send in an award nomination, scholarship application, or sponsorship interest for 2021. 


Award Nominations

Individuals, firms, or agencies can 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 not be accepting self- nominations in the Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Profession 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. AEP reserves the right to decline to give out an award in any category if a sufficient quantity or quality of submittals is not received. Final details regarding awards presentation and format will be provided to the finalists no later than two weeks prior to the awards event. The winners will be announced at the awards event.

Send nominations to: Natalie Smith at sdaepevents@gmail.com

All submittals are required to include a qualification form for their appropriate awards category. Qualification forms are linked following the description of each category or may be obtained by contacting Avneet Sidhu. One electronic copy of each nomination, including qualification forms, letters, documents, supporting materials, endorsements, and summaries must be received by Friday August 27, 2021 at 5pmDigital submittals in PDF or Word format are required and may be on CD, DVD, flash drive, FTP or via email. Please ensure that Natalie confirms receipt. Please also direct any questions, concerns, or other inquiries regarding this process to Natalie.

Award Nomination Criteria

Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Profession

This award is given to an AEP member for unique, lifetime achievements and contributions in the environmental profession. The award can recognize lifetime achievements of excellence in the environmental profession and individual accomplishments in a specific environmental field or on an issue or topic. The San Diego Chapter Board will decide the recipient of this award.

Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document- EIR or EIS

This award is given to the agency and/or firm that published an outstanding environmental analysis or assessment document in 2020 or 2021 including an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and joint CEQA/NEPA document involving an EIR and/or EIS. Supplemental, Subsequent, and Program versions of such documents may be considered appropriate for this award category. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the report/survey may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. All documents submitted must be accompanied with a letter from the lead agency providing concurrence for the category nomination. Draft or Final documents will be accepted, as long as they have completed public review. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents on the basis of the following criteria:

Clarity of Organization and Writing – Logical and comprehensive; readable by the public, decision-makers, and professionals alike; concise, direct, and to the point

Completeness – Adequate, reliable, and thorough presentation of documentation and data

Adequacy of Summary – Concise, complete and salient

Originality – Unique approach to analysis and data presentation and/or unique solution to environmental issues

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click  HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document - EIR or EIS.

Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document – ND, MND, or EA

This award is given to the agency and/or firm that published an outstanding environmental analysis or assessment document in 2020 or 2021 including a Negative Declaration (ND), Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), Environmental Assessment (EA), and joint CEQA/NEPA documents involving an ND, MND and/or EA. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the report/survey may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. All documents submitted must be accompanied with a letter from the lead agency providing concurrence for the category nomination. Draft or Final documents will be accepted, as long as they have completed public review. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents on the basis of the following criteria:

Clarity of Organization and Writing – Logical and comprehensive; readable by the public, decision-makers, and professionals alike; concise, direct, and to the point         

Completeness – Adequate, reliable, and thorough presentation of documentation and data

Originality – Unique approach to analysis and data presentation and/or unique solution to environmental issues

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document - ND, MND, or EA.

Outstanding Planning Document- Plan, Policy, or Ordinance:

This award is given to an agency and/or firm that published an outstanding planning document that addresses environmental issues or gives special consideration to the environment in 2020 or 2021. Sample documents include but are not limited to General Plans, Transportation Plans, Development Plans, and Ordinances. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the document may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. All documents submitted must be accompanied by a letter for the regulatory agency providing concurrence. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents based on the basis of the following criteria:

Clarity of Organization and Writing – Logical and comprehensive; readable by the public, decision-makers, and professionals alike; concise, direct, and to the point         

Completeness – Adequate, reliable, and thorough presentation of documentation and regulations

Public Outreach – Efforts made to engage public in the creation of the document

Environmental Design – Design elements were included to avoid environmental impacts or enhance the environment

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Planning Document - Plan, Policy, or Ordinance.

Outstanding Technical Report

This award is given to an agency and/or firm that published an outstanding technical report, or utilized a unique technical approach in 2020 or 2021. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the report/survey may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. Submitted reports may focus on the following issues, but are not limited to, Agriculture, Air Quality, Biology, Climate Change/Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Cultural Resources, Geology, Drainage and Hydrology, Hazardous Materials (PEA or Phase I), Noise, Storm Water, Traffic, and Visual Impact Analysis. Reports must be in a Final version to be considered for this award. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents on the basis of the following criteria:

Clarity of Organization and Writing – Logical and comprehensive            

Technical Difficulty – Analysis of complex issues and the ability to synthesize the information into the report or survey

Originality – Unique approach to analysis and data presentation and/or unique solution

Regulatory Adequacy – Comprehensive identification of and response to applicable regulations

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Technical Report.

Outstanding Public Involvement Award

This award is given to an agency and/or firm that displayed outstanding achievement in community outreach and engagement over the past three years (2017-2021) in San Diego or Imperial counties. This award recognizes the firm or agency that effectively engaged the public in the environmental planning process and created a greater awareness among the public.

Emphasis will be placed on the success of the outreach and the level of public participation during the process.

  1. Effectiveness in engaging the public in the environmental planning process – was there a high level of public participation during the process?
  2. Inclusiveness of public participation- was there a practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources to participate for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those that have physical or mental disabilities or belonging to other minority groups?
  3. Success of the outreach – was a greater awareness created among members of the public regarding the project, project components and environmental planning process?
  4. Success of diversity inclusion practices- was there greater participation among members of the public who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, regarding the project, project components and environmental planning process?

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Public Involvement.

Outstanding Innovation in Resilient or Sustainable Planning and Design

This award is given to an agency and/or firm that published an outstanding document related to multidisciplinary innovation in green planning and design in 2020 or 2021. Appropriate documents for consideration in this award category may include, but are not limited to: Climate Action Plans, Sustainability Plans, Resiliency Plans, alternative energy programs, Resource Management Plans, environmentally-related Implementation Plans, Significance Thresholds Guidelines, and other non-impact analysis/assessment studies and reports. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the document may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange or Riverside counties. This award is for documents that have made an effort to create and implement sustainable planning and to improve the natural environment through green planning and design. This category does not include CEQA/NEPA documents or technical reports. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents on the basis of the following criteria:

Creativity and Innovation – Originality of methodology, format, or approach to an issue

Clarity – User friendly presentation of methodology and technical information, with direct and concise language appropriate for the audience

Implementation – Useful and applicable methodology and components for effective implementation

Integration – Comprehensive identification of and response to applicable regulations, zoning, plans, and other related policies

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding Innovation in Resilient or Sustainable Planning and Design.

New this Year: Outstanding CEQA Streamlining

This award is given to an agency and/or firm that utilized a unique technical approach in 2020 or 2021 to streamline a project. The primary authors of the document must be based in San Diego County or Imperial counties; however, the subject area of the report/survey may include San Diego, Imperial, Orange, or Riverside counties. Submitted reports may focus on the following streamlining provisions, but are not limited to, Exemptions, Ministerial Exemptions, Program EIR Tiering, Specific Plan Tiering, and Addendums. The project must be approved with streamlined review to be considered for this award. The AEP Awards Jury will evaluate these types of documents on the basis of the following criteria:

Clarity of Organization and Writing – Logical and comprehensive; readable by the public, decision-makers, and professionals alike; concise, direct, and to the point         

Technical Difficulty – Analysis of complex issues and the ability to synthesize the information into the report or survey

Originality – Unique approach to analysis and data presentation and/or unique solution

Regulatory Adequacy – Comprehensive identification of and response to applicable regulations

Ease of Use – Electronic document that is easy to navigate and accessible to the public

Click HERE to download the qualification form for Outstanding CEQA Streamlining.

Environmental Photography Contest

Continuing our tradition in photographic excellence, the Awards Banquet will again include an environmental photography contest. Submit photos by the submission deadline, and they will be displayed anonymously during the cocktail hour at the Awards Banquet, where banquet attendees will vote on the photography. The winner’s photograph will be featured in the next SDAEP Newsletter and on the SDAEP website, highlighting the photographer and his/her employer. For the environmental photography contest, firms can submit multiple photographs as long as no two photograph submissions are from the same individual.

To enter the contest: submit an environmental-related photo (limit one per person) that has been within the last year (2020 – 2021). Include in your submission a title of your photo, your name, and what firm or agency you are with.

Please email all submissions to Kelsey Hawkins, kelsey.hawkins@weareharris.com.


Student Scholarship Opportunities

San Diego AEP is now accepting applications for two different scholarship opportunities for students! See below details for both scholarships.

Student Scholarship

San Diego AEP supports undergraduate and graduate students who are actively engaged in the pursuit of an environmental career. For 2021, the monetary awards will be up to $2,000 per scholarship recipient. Scholarship recipient(s) will also receive a complimentary one-year AEP student membership which includes all the benefits of professional membership such as the quarterly newsletters, notification of networking events, reduced rate for Chapter luncheons, and reduced rates for the State Annual Conference and bi-annual CEQA workshops. The scholarship application can be found HERE.

Diversity in the Environmental Profession

Last year, San Diego AEP introduced a new scholarship, the Diversity in the Environmental Profession 2021 Student Scholarship, focused on supporting high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing an education in environmentally related topics. This scholarship is a specific action San Diego AEP is taking to promote and encourage BIPOC voices within our profession. The monetary award will be up to $1,000 per recipient and be awarded at the virtual San Diego Chapter Annual Awards and Scholarship Benefit. The scholarship application can be found HERE.

The deadline to apply for both scholarships is September 10, 2021.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Kelsey Hawkins at sdaepstudentoutreach@gmail.com.


Sponsorships

Since the event is fully virtual again this year, practically all money raised from our sponsorships will be going DIRECTLY to student scholarships. Sponsors will be able to impact the future of environmental planners in the region and support the growth of the profession!

This year we will continue to maintain a sponsorship level to fund the newly added Diversity in the Environmental Professional Student Scholarship. These scholarships will be focused on supporting high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing an education in environmentally related topics and will be given to a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) recipient. This scholarship is a specific action San Diego AEP is taking for the second year to promote and encourage BIPOC voices within our profession. 

Your annual sponsorship supports the SDAEP Scholarship program. Please strongly consider supporting our up-and-coming environmental professionals. Due to the continuingly unique circumstances of 2021, sponsorship opportunities will be discounted 30% and are available at several levels, ranging from $315 to $875 for 2021. All 2019 and 2020 sponsors will receive an extra incentive to sponsor this year's scholarships with a 50% discount, prices range from $225 to $650. Sponsorship levels and benefits are described HERE.

Contact Erin Phillips, ephillips@dudek.com, for more information.


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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