Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Muirkirk Farm Donates to Food-a-thon; CAUSES TV: Urban Food Production


In celebration of Thanksgiving, UDC-CAUSES donated freshly grown produce to NBC Washington's Food 4 Families campaign, which seeks to feed as many people as possible during the Thanksgiving holiday season. CAUSES donated kale, collards, spinach and other nutritious vegetables grown at the UDC Research Farm. 

110 pounds of freshly picked kale and collards were transported from the farm to the Verizon Center, where Urban Agriculture Director, Che' Axum, and Associate Dean of Programs, William Hare, were interviewed on live television by NBC Washington's anchor, Pat Lawson Muse, during NBC 4's food-a-thon. Che and his crew then delivered the vegetables to the Boys and Girls Clubs on Benning Road. See behind the scene photos of the donation and interview on our Facebook page!

Food donation campaigns usually receive processed and pre-packaged goods, that go a long way toward helping those in need, are lacking in nutrition. Kale is loaded with vitamins as well as calcium, iron and antioxidants. As a matter of fact, one cup of kale is all it takes to meet your daily requirement of vitamins A, C and K. It's also good for your heart and eyes!


Around CAUSES November 2013

Here are some of the topics and events happening around CAUSES:
  1. UDC farmers market closes for the season
  2. 4-H "Ready, Set, Go!" training 
  3. Watch: Dr. Wayne Curtis hosts UDC Forum on Minority MBAE Case Competition
  4. Dr. Prema Ganganna interviewed by PBS 
  5. GO DUTCH 2014 Consortium partnership
  6. Agriculture and nutrition team guest lectures at Georgetown University
  7. Former Governor of Bangkok visits UDC
2013 farmers market season comes to a close 

The UDC farmers market recently celebrated the end of another successful season. Said Market Manager Stephanie Wingate: The last Saturday, for 2013 UDC Farmer's Market came and passed. To reflect on the day, I remember seeing a D.C. policeman standing for a while, with one of our vendors, nice friendly chat, even helping to hawk the vendors goods for a few moments to patrons as they walked by. So many people were grateful for the market and are already ready for the 2014 season to begin in April. Thanks to everyone, who participated in this 2013 Farm Market season!


4-H hosts "Ready, Set, Go!" training

The "Ready, Set, Go!" training was recently offered by Operation Military Kids, a division of the Center for 4-H and Youth Development. Ready, Set, Go! community trainings are designed to increase non-military youth workers, educators, counselors and other community members understanding of military culture and the issues facing military youth, among other things. 

In other 4-H news, the center received a special visit from a Chinese delegation. China is interested in implementing their own 4-H club!

Watch: Dr. Wayne Curtis hosts UDC Forum 

Dean Sabine O'Hara is not the only TV star we have within CAUSES! Dr. Wayne Curtis, project specialist for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Center for Sustainable Development, recently hosted an episode of UDC Forum. Watch him as he interviews four UDC graduate students who are participating in the 9th Annual Minority MBAE Case Competition, sponsored by LMI Consulting. Giresse Pembele (MBA), Anita Johnson (MPA), Timothy Glymph, III (MPA) and Tamon George (MBA) provide insight into the preparation and presentation of their award winning case study.

The competition is held at the annual Howard University MBA Exclusive where student find endless networking opportunities with top executives, engaging professional development workshops and a career fair with industry leading companies. The case competition unites top MBA candidates across the country and gives them the opportunity to develop important professional skills such as analyzing and responding quickly to an organization's strategic challenge. Dr. Curtis can be reached at wayne.curtis@udc.edu.




Dr. Prema Ganganna interviewed by MacNeil/Lehrer (PBS)

Dr. Prema Ganganna, Professor and Director of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science, was recently interviewed by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, producer behind the PBS series, Newshour. Dr. Ganganna addressed the topic of trans fats and their prevalence in today's food culture for the "The.News," a non-commercial, multi-platform news broadcast geared towards high school and middle school students. We can\t wait to see the finished product! 


Monday, November 25, 2013

CAUSES Hosts Hamburg-DC Urban Revitalization Exhibit

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CAUSES, together with the Goethe-Institut Washington, HafenCity Hamburg  and the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Hamburg, recently hosted the conference and accompanying exhibition: “Hamburg: Building the City Anew. A Journey into the City of Tomorrow.” The exhibit served as the basis for a panel discussion engaging Hamburg urban revitalization partners with representatives from the U.S. government, the District of Columbia, the private sector and from the local citizens in designing the city of the future while bridging the divide between those who have access to economic opportunities and those who do not.

Cities all over the world must reinvent themselves in order to thrive in the future, use resources more wisely, improve operational efficiencies and become more intentional about reducing negative environmental impacts. Socioeconomic divides must be overcome, and all citizens must be engaged in defining the future and in constructing cities in ways that improve the health, wellness and economic opportunities for all of their citizens.

City-states have an important role to play in modeling such a vision of urban development that is environmentally sustainable and socially just. City-states require renewal. They have little to no surrounding space, nowhere to go; and therefore must continuously be reinvented while growing upward and inward, becoming more sustainable and livable all within its perimeter. Hamburg and D.C. are both experiencing a return to urban life that offers both challenges and opportunities for economic growth and for livability. Strategies and development models must recognize the role of culture, education, the arts and recreation in managing growth that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and provide economic value.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meet the Expert: Dr. Dwane Jones and Center for Sustainable Development Team

Dwane Jones, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, a division of CAUSES. Dr. Jones conducts research and teaches courses in Urban Sustainability, Urban Design, Urban Planning and Low Impact Development. He has degrees in Urban Planning, Environmental Planning, and Urban Design.

"The Center for Sustainable Development is a central component of CAUSES in which all academic and land-grant initiatives coalesce. The Center implements research projects that integrate all programs of CAUSES in an effort to produce and understand the implications and impacts of sustainable development," explained Dr. Jones.

The Center for Sustainable Development encompasses the three pillars of Sustainability- People, Places, and Profit (Environment, Economics, and Equity). As such, the Center consists of faculty and staff appointments in Environmental Sciences, Economic Analysis, Sustainable Spaces (green infrastructure, green buildings, and resources), and Entrepreneurship. UDC’s Center for Sustainable Development also includes a world-class water quality research lab as part of its Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI).

"My vision is that the Center for Sustainable Development become a leader in educational excellence and research in sustainable development. This vision includes developing, implementing, and evaluating applied research projects as building blocks of sustainability. Each project will then become a classroom for student learning, community engagement, and economic development."

Dr. Jones is joined by Dr. Jon Cooper, Dr. Wayne Curtis and Dr. Kamran Zendehdel. Continue reading to learn more about the Center for Sustainable Development and its core team!

Testimonial: Muirkirk Farm Ethnic Crops

Reprinted with permission from UDC alum, Margaret Forbin:


As a proud alumnus of The University of the District Of Columbia, I was very delighted to learn about UDC's association with the budding ethnocentric farm project in Beltsville, Maryland, at the Muirkirk "Firebird" Farm.

I learned about the project from a former UDC CAUSES Nutrition major who had been helping to introduce "ethnic crops," particularly those from West Africa, to the cultivation and distribution schema of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan grocery system. He referenced crops that I was quite familiar growing up with in Cameroon, Africa. I was quite eager and excited, and could not wait to visit the farm myself.

When I arrived at the UDC Muirkirk "Firebird" Farm, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. There, before my very own eyes were rows and rows of West African ethnic crops, including: water leaves, bitter leaves, anchai, etcetera and various types of peppers! I like cooking ethnic vegetables with hot peppers which produces very pungent flavor. In my experience, African food cooked without hot peppers is tasteless.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Gardening Tips by Mary Farrah

CAUSES Urban Agriculture and Forestry Outreach Extension Agent, Mary Farrah, provides helpful tips about taking care of our gardens during the winter:


It’s time for the fall garden clean up! As our growing season is winding down, the only crops able to tolerate the chill are the overwintering garlic bulbs, the cold hardy greens of the brassica family, lettuces and spinach.


It’s time to pull all the dead and decaying warm season veggies—and the weeds that escaped our notice while we were busy having fun this summer! Doing this will eliminate many overwintering insect and pest eggs and bacterial, fungal and viral diseases you didn’t even know you had. This simple and easy cultural practice is the number one place to start minimizing pests and pathogens that will otherwise gladly move right into next season’s garden.  A fall garden clean-up equals good gardening hygiene!

Friday, November 15, 2013

CAUSES TV: IBA Hamburg & HafenCity Project

In this episode of CAUSES TV, Dr. O'Hara is joined by Mr. Bruns-Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg, Europe’s largest inner-city development project that is also the blueprint for the development of a European city on the waterfront--very similar to the likes of Washington, D.C. The discussion centers around the healthy city initiatives underway in Hamburg, Germany, and the Sustainable DC initiative launched by DC Mayor Vincent Gray.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Exhibit: Hamburg: Building the City Anew. A Journey into the City of Tomorrow.

UDC and Goethe-Institut Washington Partner to Host Hamburg Conference and Exhibit
“Hamburg: Building the City Anew. A Journey into the City of Tomorrow” will explore the German city’s sustainable initiatives






















Germany’s second largest city and the ninth largest in Europe, Hamburg, is home to two of the most important urban development areas in Europe: HafenCity and the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Hamburg. Both projects embrace the vision of a European city meeting the challenges of the future without abandoning its unique traditions and character. HafenCity, Europe’s largest inner-city development project, is setting new standards for ecological sustainability and mixed use development along the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany. The International Building Exhibition (IBA) is applying experimental design and urban planning to a neglected inner-city island, transforming it into a vibrant and sustainable area. 

Like Washington, D.C., Hamburg is a city-state that consists solely of the city itself without a surrounding rural area. This poses unique developmental challenges and unique opportunities. Hamburg is commercial, compact and comfortable at the same time. And it has to be. Without a surrounding land area Hamburg must meet all the needs of its citizens, attract businesses and visitors, and reinvent itself ever anew to meet the ambitions of a modern city that keeps pace with the times.

How has Hamburg organized itself to meet the demands of a modern city that is ecologically sound and economically vibrant?  The University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) and the Goethe-Institut Washington will present a half-day conference exploring these important topics and accompanying exhibition Hamburg. Building the City Anew. A Journey into the City of Tomorrow.

Keep reading for details on the Nov. 14 reception and Nov. 15 panel discussion!