Thursday, March 26, 2015

Student Internships and Research Opportunities

Students, the summer is fast approaching. Are you in need of an internship or research opportunities? Continue reading to learn more about the following:

  • FoodCorps DC
  • DGS Resource Conservation Summer Practicum
  • Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants
  • Wilson Center Call for Papers: 2015 Graduate Student Paper Competition on Reducing Urban Poverty
  • DC Greens 2015 FVRx Nutrition Internship
  • Beijing Normal University: Summer Institute for Disaster and Risk Recovery
  • The Borgen Project: Political Affairs Internship and Writer Internship

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Here's what's been happening around CAUSES:
-Join us at the Anacostia River Festival
- Soil management workshop help at Muirkirk Farm
- UDC green roof in the news
- Muirkirk Farm featured on Elevation DC
-Watch "Where Lives are Changed" short video
-Ward 7 cooking class underway
-March Gerontology In-Service

Join us at the Anacostia River Festival!

The Anacostia River Festival will be held April 12, 2015, from Noon to 4:00 p.m in Anacostia Park. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the Anacostia River, its ecology, history and people who live and work alongside it. UDC is excited to be a partner in this event to bring together residents from both sides of the river and across the city to experience the river, the arts and engage with each other.  Please come out and join us for a day of fun on the river! The University will be showcasing the following activities for children and adults:
·         Aquaponics Display
·         How much water does it take to produce that? Guessing Game
·         Can you make it rain?  – led by the Brightwood Education Campus 4-H Club
Contact Arielle Gerstein for more information.

Soil management workshop held at Muirkirk Farm

The Center for Urban Agriculture held a free half-day soil management workshop at Muirkirk Farm on Sat., March 14. The workshop was geared toward gardeners and farmers in the DC region seeking to maximize their soil health for the long-term growth of nutrient dense crops. Jon Frank, International Ag Labs, served as instructor. Mr. Frank pioneered the High Brix Garden method for increasing crop nutritional content through soil management and is active in promoting the concept of nutrient dense foods and their impact on human health. For more information, contact Dr. Lorraine Clarke.

UDC green roof in the news

The CAUSES green roof has been featured in Riverside Research's MarketMaker newsletter! Construction is nearly complete, and we can't wait to grow produce right here on campus! Prior to that, Mr. David Bardin wrote about his firsthand look in the Forest Hills Connection. For questions regarding the green roof, contact William Hare.

UDC Farm featured on Elevation DC!

Elevation DC visited our Beltsville, Maryland, research farm to speak with urban ag director Che Axum: "When feeding large numbers of people from limited spaces — the essence of urban farming and of feeding the city’s hungry — nutrient density matters. Much of the food grown on the 143-acre farm goes to nonprofits like Bread for the City, which helps run an orchard here, and DC Central Kitchen; nonprofits received nearly 1,000 pounds of produce from the farm in 2013.
But, as of this year, more of the produce will be sold at UDC’s campus cafeteria as well as its farmers market — and it will be used to educate a growing number of urban farmers and gardeners along the way." Read the full article!  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Architecture Prof. Kathy Dixon Named One of Maryland's Top 100 Women!

The Daily Record Announces Maryland's Top 100 Women, Celebrates Program's 20th Anniversary

The Daily Record named Kathy Denise Dixon, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of the District of Columbia, to its 2015 listing of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, the 20th anniversary of the award program.

The Daily Record began Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 1996 to recognize outstanding achievement by women demonstrated through professional accomplishments, community leadership and mentoring.

Nearly 400 were nominated for the statewide honor. Nominees were asked to complete an application outlining their educational and career history, professional and community involvement, corporate and nonprofit board memberships, and mentoring experience. They were encouraged to submit letters of recommendation from those who are familiar with their accomplishments professionally, in the community and through mentoring.

2015 LifeSmarts Competition: UPO Wins!

by Carilyne Vance

On March 13, 2015, forty students from across the District gathered at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law for the 2015 National Consumers League’s LifeSmarts quiz-bowl competition. LifeSmarts is a competitive program and educational tool available for students in grades 6-12 that teaches the consumer literacy skills needed to succeed in today's marketplace. LifeSmarts covers: Personal Finance, Consumer Rights & Responsibilities, Technology, Health & Safety and the Environment. 

With a spirited finish, the team from the United Planning Organization snatched a close victory from the McKinley Technology team.  The United Planning Organization team, which is comprised of students from McKinley Tech and the Academia de la Recta Porta, will now represent the District of Columbia during the national competition, April 17 – 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

2015 LifeSmarts District Champions – the United Planning Organization 

Monday, March 23, 2015

World Green Energy Symposium Honors CAUSES with 2015 NOVA Award

For the eighth consecutive year, the World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) brought together top experts, leading decision makers, buyers, investors, innovators, global industry and local, state and federal agencies and delegates in a platform conducive for information exchange, opportunities, networking and actionable solutions. UDC CAUSES received the the 2015 WGES NOVA Award during the event, held March 12 at the David A. Clarke School of Law. 

The annual NOVA Award is given for innovations in green energy and sustainability. The award was bestowed unto CAUSES for innovative research and community programming, such as its model for urban agriculture known as the Urban Food Hubs concept. Other notable WGES NOVA Award recipients of this prestigious recognition include: Drexel University for their SMART House, the City of Philadelphia for the Greenworks Program, the District of Columbia for its Sustainable DC Initiative, the Country of Brazil for its Rio de Janeiro sustainable strategic plan, and the DOW Chemical Company for its leadership in combining power of science and innovative technology.

"We don't just focus on educating students on our campus, but are very active in educating the community. We feel very strongly that that is a better education preparation for or students. We are very honored to receive this award," Dean O'Hara said while  accepting the award.

DDOE Director Tommy Wells, UDC's Provost Dr. Petty, Dean O'Hara, President Lyons and Joann Hill, MBDA. Photo courtesy of Ed Jones.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CAUSES TV: Urban Food Production and Designing for Sustainability

Are agriculture and food production a viable concept as a means of sustainability in our urban neighborhoods? Is it possible to grown enough healthy food with the available land in our city centers to meet the demands of an even increasing population?

On this edition of CAUSES are two people who say yes to both questions and will explore the reasons behind their viewpoints. Steve Moore is Director of the Sustainable Food Systems Program, in the Department of Environmental Studies, at Elon University, North Carolina; and Che Axum, is Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture, in the College Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences here at the University of the District of Columbia.

Offering EPA-Renovation, Repair and Painting Certification Course - May 4

Friday, March 13, 2015

Beginners Biogas Workshop at Muirkirk Farm April 18-19

New Design for US-ready Small Biogas Digester Debuts, with Potential Impact on Climate Change

CAUSES will be hosting a Beginners and Builders Biogas Workshop, April 18-19, at the UDC Muirkirk Research Farm. David House, author of The Complete Biogas Handbook and workshop facilitator, will present details about a new design for a fully insulated, US-ready small biogas digester capable of producing several cubic yards of biogas daily from moderate amounts of food waste.

Biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, and can be used as a fuel in any application where ordinary natural gas might be used, such as cooking, heating or for vehicle operation. It is produced by a natural process akin to composting, and besides biogas, one of the results of the process is a high-quality fertilizer.

“It’s important that this new, low-cost biogas digester can use food waste,” House said, “because it addresses several problems. Something between a third and half of all food produced globally is wasted, and most of that produces methane when it decomposes.“

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sustainable Urban Agriculture certificate program starts soon!

by Arielle Gerstein
The Sustainable Urban Agriculture certificate program will begin its second session on March 31, 2015. The inaugural certificate program started in the fall of 2014 and was very successful with a total of 31 participants.  

This year, the program will have 40 participants who will learn basic and more advanced techniques in urban agriculture and how to start their own small businesses. The program offers to two tracks: 1) urban agriculture techniques and 2) business principles in urban agriculture. In addition each participant will take one of three special courses offered in Principles of Sustainable Urban Agriculture, Sustainable Aquaponics and Youth and Agriculture.

The main goal of this certificate program is for participants to gain knowledge in the subject areas covered during the classes through experiential learning. For the urban agriculture techniques track, all the classes will be held on CAUSES’ Muirkirk Research Farm in Beltsville, Maryland, so the participants will learn the entire process of growing produce and learn how to apply these techniques in their homes or businesses. The business principles in urban agriculture track will cover how to start a small business specifically focused on food production and/or distribution.

This program is now full but please fill out the registration form if you would like to be added to the wait list for the spring session. For questions, please contact Arielle Gerstein.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Where Lives Are Changed: CAUSES

Thanks to Ed Jones of UDC TV for this great CAUSES promo. He really conveys who we are in this short video!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

UDC Farm featured on Elevation DC!

Elevation DC visited our Beltsville, Maryland, research farm to speak with urban ag director Che Axum:

When feeding large numbers of people from limited spaces — the essence of urban farming and of feeding the city’s hungry — nutrient density matters. Much of the food grown on the 143-acre farm goes to nonprofits like Bread for the City, which helps run an orchard here, and DC Central Kitchen; nonprofits received nearly 1,000 pounds of produce from the farm in 2013.

But, as of this year, more of the produce will be sold at UDC’s campus cafeteria as well as its farmers market — and it will be used to educate a growing number of urban farmers and gardeners along the way.

Read the full article!

Copyright: Elevation Media

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CAUSES green roof under construction

Did you know we are finalizing construction of a green roof on top of one of our Van Ness campus buildings? You can read more about it in the Forest Hills Connection:

High above Van Ness Street, on the roof and penthouse of the university’s Building 44, UDC is installing a teaching, research and demonstration facility for its College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences. Read more!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

World Green Energy Symposium - March 12!

Rooting DC Brings Together DC's Gardeners and Growers

Organized by DC Greens, Rooting DC is an all-day gardening forum that serves as a central location for those seeking information about growing healthy food in D.C. The event “provides education about urban food production and consumption, to cultivate health and preserve the environment.” Rooting DC hosts an information fair that this year featured more than 60 nonprofits and exhibitors, including CAUSES. The program also included workshops, demonstrations, and panel discussions focusing on youth gardening, nutrition, sustainable growing techniques, and healthy food access. This year’s event was held Feb. 28, 2015, at Wilson High School.

“Rooting DC is a popular annual event now in its eighth year that brings out the novices in a casual, but informative way. I have already seen at least 50 Master Gardeners this morning, who are so passionate about this event,” stated Sandr Farber-Bandier, the Master Gardener Coordinator for the District of Columbia.

“It allows people to come out at the beginning of the growing season and gets people really excited, giving them the starting tools to getting a garden going; whether that’s one container in a window sill or a plot; it also gets people involved in the community,” Master Gardener Haley Baron explained about the event’s popularity.

Crowd gathers around the CAUSES/DC Master Gardeners table.
Diane Bradley, another Master Gardener on hand at the CAUSES table, said: “You don’t realize how interested people are in this until events like these. I’m also glad to see so many gardens in DC.”

Visit for more information and resources from this year’s event. Hope to see you at Rooting DC 2016!