Local student takes home EPA award at Intel competition

Adam was selected out of 1,800 students

Adam Nayak talks to KOIN 6 as seen on June 14, 2017. (KOIN)
Adam Nayak talks to KOIN 6 as seen on June 14, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local high school student recently won an international competition in environmental science and now hopes to help Portland avoid major flooding.

Cleveland High School junior Adam Nayak was selected out of 1,800 students from 78 countries to win the EPA award at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.

For his project, Adam looked at how rivers in the Portland metro will respond to more urbanization and growth, specifically Johnson Creek, and the Tualatin, Pudding and Clackamas Rivers.

He found we’re in store for even more flooding. However, “there are strategies to counteract these changes,” according to Adam.

Adam’s love for the outdoors and all things water started in 4th grade after he had questions about salmon runs in a stream near his house.

“It started with pH simple fecal tests in my local stream and that expanded to honing in on the role of urbanization and how it’s affecting the fresh water ecosystems in the Portland area,” he said.

His love for environmental science only grew from there.

Adam’s hard work recently scored him a huge honor, but he’s taking it a step further. He’s working at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council through an internship to put his research into action.

Adam said, “With our work, we’ve actually contacted over 140 businesses within the Watershed to talk about sustainable solutions. That includes things like bio-swell, rain gardens, retention ponds, impervious pavement, just moving parking lots in general. Trying to get some green spaces within parking lots.”

While this high school student has already earned some scholarship money for college, he still has his senior year to get through.