Monday, December 23, 2013

Around CAUSES December 2013

A few of the happenings around CAUSES:
  • Nursing students featured in DC Nurse magazine
  • Che' Axum to appear on NBC4's Viewpoint
  • Meet Manny, Muirkirk Farm Volunteer Extraordinaire
  • Dr. Wayne Curtis delivers keynote for DC Green Corps graduating class
  • Holiday Collection a Success!
  • CAUSES Holiday Party

Nursing students featured in DC Nurse magazine

Two UDC nursing students are featured in the current edition of DC Nurse magazine. UDC's nursing program is a division of CAUSES. The article, "East of the River Students can find Opportunity in Nursing," features Dawna Gadson and Katrina Clark, who discuss their stories in how they selected the field of nursing for their professions. "Clark and Gadson are now enhancing their professional nursing careers as students in UDC's bachelor of science in nursing program," the article details. Nursing chair, Dr. Pier Broadnax, is also quoted. Read the full article, which begins on page 11. Click here to learn more about our RN to BSN nursing program. 

Che' Axum to appear on NBC4's Viewpoint

Center for Urban Agriculture Director and Muirkirk Farm Manager Che' Axum will appear on Viewpoint, Channel 4's Sunday public affairs show. He will appear alongside George A. Jones, the CEO of Bread for the City, and Mike Curtain, the CEO of D.C. Central Kitchen, to discuss local efforts to end hunger. His episode is slated to air Sunday morning, Dec. 29, at 7:00 a.m.

Meet Manny, Muirkirk Farm Volunteer Extraordinaire

Manny is the site manager at Lederer Youth Garden in Ward 7. He also is a dedicated volunteer at our research farm in Beltsville, Maryland. During the four years he has collaborated with UDC, helping to introduce ethnic crops to his youth garden with the help of UDC Ethnic Crop Specialist, Yao Afantchao, Manny has demonstrated the willingness to adapt the growing techniques and the educational aspect of ethnic crops to his program at Lederer. Thanks for your help, Manny and thanks for helping to spread the word and sharing the knowledge!  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Save the date: Post Oil City exhibit and workshops Jan. 30 - March 1

Click to enlarge
The negative side effects of fossil fuel use are becoming increasingly apparent and costly. Erratic weather events, growing risks for low-lying coastal areas, and unexpected feed-back loops have raised questions about the sustainability of our oil dependence and the size of our carbon footprint especially in densely populated urban areas. At the same time, urban populations continue to grow rapidly. City life, especially over the past 50 years, has been very oil dependent. From buildings, to mobility, to heating and cooling systems, to meeting the water and food demand of high density urban populations, cities run on oil. 

How then can we envision the post oil city of the future? What does such a city look like? Can cities really function without oil? How would they solve their mobility needs? How will buildings be heated and air-conditioned? If not oil, then through what means can cities function efficiently and effectively to meet the needs of their residents?

Friday, December 20, 2013

CAUSES signs on as Collaborating Org for Climate Solutions Conference

Join over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences of the University of the District of Columbia is a Collaborating Organization for the Building Climate Solutions, the 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment. The conference, which is sponsored by the National Conference for Science and the Environment (NCSE), will be held Jan. 28 – 30, 2014.

The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources. According to NCSE, the recent release of the first part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report reaffirms with even greater surety that climate change is occurring and poses significant challenges to humanity. The draft United States National Climate Assessment states that the impacts of climate change have "moved firmly into the present."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Scholarship and Internship Opportunities

  • Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scholarship
  • American Legion Internship
  • Project Y.E.S. Internship 
  1. Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program
    The Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) provides research internships to 200 undergraduate students and 75 graduate students each year. NREIP provides a 10-week opportunity for students to participate in research at one of the 29 Department of Navy laboratories during the summer.
     The goals of NREIP are to encourage participating students to pursue science and engineering careers, to further education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and their participation in research.  Students will receive a stipend for their participation in the summer internship as follows: Sophomores receive $5,400.00. Juniors and Seniors receive $8,100.00. Graduate students will receive $10,800.00. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens. Applications are due by Jan. 6, 2014. For more information, visit

  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ScholarshipThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pleased to announce the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program, available to college sophomore students majoring in STEM disciplines related to oceanic and atmospheric science, research, or technology, and supportive of the purposes of NOAA's programs and mission, e.g., biological, social and physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; and computer and information sciences. NOAA is accepting applications from students who will have Official Junior status in Fall 2014. U.S. citizens are eligible with at least a 3.0 GPA. The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2014. Contact the NOAA Office of Education at for more information.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Upcoming CAUSES Events

The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences has some great events coming up next year, so please be sure to mark your calendars!

  • 4-H Volunteer Leaders Training (Jan. 11, 2014) 
  • Lead Abatement Workshop (Jan. 17 & 24, March 14 & 17, April 14 - 15)
  • Post-Oil City Exhibition and Workshops (Jan. 30-31; Feb. 8, 15, and 21, 2014)
  • National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium (April 4, 2014)
  • Sustainability and Social Enterprise Summit (Friday, April 18, 2014) 

Upcoming 4-H Volunteer Leaders Training and 4-H news

Contact Rebecca Bankhead at to sign up! 

Keep reading to see what else 4-H has been up to. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PBS Interviews Dr. Prema Ganganna about Trans Fats

Last month, Dr. Prema Ganganna, Professor and Director of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science,was recently interviewed by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. The name may sound familiar to you because MacNeil/Lehrer is the production company behind the long-running series, PBS Newshour (formerly known as The Newshour with Jim Lehrer). Select excerpts from Dr. Ganganna's interview appear in the short video: "Trans Fat: The Hidden Killer," alongside Julie Greenstein, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Allan Javery, Executive Chef of the Arlington, Virginia based Copperwood Tavern. 
Paul Malkie of MacNeil-Lehrer interviews Dr.Ganganna.

In the video, Dr. Ganganna addresses the topic of trans fatty acids and their prevalence in today's food culture for the "The.News," which is a non-commercial, multi-platform news broadcast geared towards high school and middle school students. Every video feature, including the one on trans fats, has corresponding lesson plans that include discussion questions, activities and other educational content supporting social studies, language arts and science based curricula. 
The video can be watched on the PBS "The.News" website, where the transcript is also available.

Describing the experience of being a resource for PBS, Dr. Ganganna said: "My service as a teacher, mentor and program director is my passion at the local level. PBS, with its global reach, has inspired me to think about going to Africa or another part of the world where malnutrition is critical and helping to educate the public about the dangers of unhealthy eating habits and trans fatty acids."

The cameraman looks on.
Dr. Ganganna, who has been with UDC's Nutrition program since 1984 and has led the accredited program since 1987, explains the difference between good fats (HDL) and bad fats (LDL) and their relation to trans fats. The consumption of more than 2 grams of trans fatty acids a day increases the LDL, which increases the cardiovascular risk. Increased LDL becomes most prevalent during the holiday season, when the consumption of cookies, cake mix, icing and other trans fatty foods is especially high. She suggests reading labels and avoid foods that have partially hydrogenated fats.  

It is never too early to educate youth about what they cook, eat and consume, lessons they will retain and pass on to those around them. And perhaps, someday, those children may end up as future CAUSES students! 

Dr. Prema Ganganna can be reached at Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Scienceis a division of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. 

Keep reading for healthy cooking tips!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Help celebrate the season of giving

As you can see, Dr. Webster's holiday gift drive has taken over her office! There is still time to donate before Dec. 18! See below for details.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

CAUSES TV: Sustaining A Biodiverse Planet and Respiratory Care

In two new episodes of CAUSES TV, Dr. O'Hara interviews Dr. W. John Kress, of the Smithsonian Institution and Dr. Elgloria Harrison, of UDC.

Dr. Kress, a man of many titles, is the Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet and also a Curator of Botany and a Research Scientist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The environment is changing, and Dr. Kress addresses how these changes may impact the Washington, D.C. area (including our precious monuments on the banks of the Potomac) and the nation. Together, they discuss the positives and negatives of our changing cities. In particular, can D.C. become healthier, greener, and more livable as the Sustainable DC Plan suggests? Or will the negative environmental changes be too much to overcome? Finally, should cities be concentrations of human impact, or would it be better to spread the impact of human habitation out a bit across a larger space? Learn more from a scientist's perspective: