Thursday, October 29, 2015

Environmental Quality Testing Lab Receives National Accreditation

The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is pleased to announce the full accreditation of the Environmental Quality Testing Laboratory (EQTL) by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) Accreditation Council. NELAP accreditation is the highest national laboratory accreditation achievable.

The New Hampshire Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NH ELAP) awarded primary NELAP Accreditation to the EQTL of Washington, D.C., for minerals and trace metals in potable and non-potable waters in accordance with the provisions of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) Standards and the NH Env-C 300 laboratory accreditation administrative rules. NH ELAP is one of few authorized laboratory programs that awards primary and secondary accreditation to out-of-state environmental laboratories.

The Laboratory is required to use EPA–approved methods required by regulation. Because the District of Columbia is not a state, there is no state level EPA accrediting body; therefore, the EQTL had to acquire NELAP accreditation, which has more strenuous requirements, including annual recertification. This is a huge endeavor for UDC.

Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health offering free cooking classes

The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health has announced two cooking classes for November and December: 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Here's what's happening around CAUSES!

1. UDC Urban Architecture and Community Planning Students place in the Interschool Student Design Competition  
The annual Interschool Student Design Competition (ISDC) convened teams of students from the area’s collegiate architecture programs—Catholic, Howard, University of the District of Columbia, Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, Morgan State, and University of Maryland. The teams participated in a day-long design challenge held in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum, and were tasked with producing a creative solution that addresses real world architecture, planning, and landscape architecture issues. UDC Architecture student Mitch Peterson was on the first place team, while David Andjaba was on the third place team. Both received books and monetary prizes. An ISDC display is available for viewing in Building 32, Suite 200. Photos of the event are available here.

2. 2016 water symposium calls for abstracts
The National Capital Region is hosting the 2016 Water Symposium: Rethinking the Value of Water: Innovations in Research, Technology, Policy and Management, hosted April 8, 2016 at the University of the District of Columbia. The Symposium is seeking abstracts on scientific research and practical solutions to water issues relevant to the National Capital Region. Abstracts are due December 4.

3. American Forests ceremonial tree planting at East Capitol Farm
On Monday, October 26, 2015, American Forests hosted a ceremonial tree planting at the East Capitol Urban Farm in honor of its 140th anniversary and to recognize the signing of a new MOU with the U.S. Forest Service. Remarks were delivered by Dr. Dwane Jones, director, Center for Sustainable Development, CAUSES. See photos of the ceremony, as well as photos of the Oct. 17 volunteer event!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

CAUSES Hosts Second Annual Urban Agriculture Symposium

The Second Annual Urban Agriculture Symposium hosted by the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences of the University of the District of Columbia brought together practitioners, researchers and food lovers to continue the dialogue others are having locally, nationally and globally to address the future of food security. The opening panel, Symposium and Green Living Expo served as a forum for sharing information, exchanging ideas, and building networks to support a healthy and economically viable urban food system. The events were held October 22-24.

Help us glean Nov. 21 at the UDC Research Farm

Institute of Gerontology celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The UDC Institute of Gerontology (IOG) celebrated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special lecture from Georgetown University's Capital City Breast CareCCBC provides culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health and wellness education to all women in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, regardless of their ability to pay. IOG's In-service was highly interactive, with senior volunteers answering true or false questions, such as:

UDC green roof closes for the season - 4300 lbs. harvested!

Photo by Sandra Farber Bandier 
November is here and the growing season on the UDC green roof has come to an end, so the roof is closing for the year after a successful inaugural season. According to DC Master Gardener Program Coordinator and Green Roof Manager, Sandra Farber Bandier, most of the plants have been removed, except for Swiss  chard and butternut squash. The pollinator garden will remain in bloom until the first or second frost. 

The production and popularity of the roof exceeded our expectations.  To date, we have harvested close to 4,300 pounds of nutrient dense produce, the majority of which was donated to food pantries, the CAUSES Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, the UDC  weekly CSA program, and other events.

In addition to Sandy Farber Bandier and Lorraine Weller who spent countless hours and braved various types of weather, we would like to especially thank the volunteers and student interns whose time and dedication helped to make this first season a success, including the Firebird Student Athlete Advisory Committee. See them in action:

The rooftop garden will open in Spring 2016, when tours will be available Tuesdays through Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The memories of a successful debut will carry us into 2016. And of course, we'll always have our Washington Post feature!

Next up: We grew soybeans!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

CAUSES participates in Twitter Town Hall

CAUSES participated in a Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, hosted by Ag is America. The other town hall participants were Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and Southern University’s Ag Center. The four universities were honored for their innovation and leadership in their communities at the 2015 National Extension Directors and Administrators and Cooperative Extension Section Annual Business Meeting in St. Louis. 

A Twitter Town Hall is  an online forum that gives participants an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session over Twitter – a digital public forum. In real time, the four universities answered questions from across the nation. Each university provided an expert who answered questions about youth development, drones, health, nutrition, urban agriculture, and more. Dean Sabine O'Hara served as UDC's expert, tweeting responses to questions regarding the Urban Food Hubs solution to food insecurity.

According to Kglobal, organizer and facilitator of the Oct. 14 Cooperative Extension Innovation Town Hall, 6 million "followed" the 45 minute event, which saw almost 100 questions submitted. Here are some of our tweets:  

Accepting Abstracts for ISEE 2016

Transforming the Economy: Sustaining Food, Water, Energy and Justice, June 26 - 29, will be hosted by UDC CAUSES and the International Society of Ecological Economics in Washington, D.C.

As the Science of Sustainability, Ecological Economics must advance the transformation of the economy to support rather than debilitate the processes that sustain our living planet. Most fundamental to such an economy is its support of basic live support systems like food, water and energy, and its support of social justice and a quality life for all.

The conference is now accepting abstracts for sessions, papers, and speed talks. Submit your abstract now! Visit for more information.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Watch: East Capitol Farm Firebird Update

Couldn't make DCBIA's Annual Build Day last month? Watch this East Capitol Farm Firebird Update and see what you missed!

Friday, October 16, 2015

East Capitol Farm Tree Planting Oct. 26!

We hope to see you at the Ceremonial Tree Planting October 26!  


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Join us for a Twitter Town Hall Oct. 14!

Remember the innovation showcase for which we've been selected? Join us Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 ET for the Twitter Town Hall.

Tweet your questions early using #AgIsChat. Visit Ag Is America for more information!