Workshops and Trainings

Workshops & Certificates – Schedule

Past Workshops & Trainings

CAUSES Events


Center for Sustainable Development  & Resilience

EPA-Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Certification Course: For contractors to avoid the fine of $37,000.00, enroll in the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting class. All contractors who renovate, repair and/or paint residential buildings, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 must have EPA certified renovators and follow lead-safe work practices.

Introduction to Green Infrastructure & Low Impact Development: Low Impact Development (LID) is typically defined as a storm water management design framework aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. LID includes: mimicking pre-development hydrology, tree conservation, maximizing open space, maintenance, structural practices, and education.  This course addresses LID in the contexts of design, planning, implementation, and maintenance.  The introductory course is designed for planners, engineers, landscape architects, realtors, surveyors, local governments, and anyone else interested in environmentally friendly, cost-efficient developments. Low Impact Development (LID) is typically defined as a stormwater management design framework aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. LID includes: mimicking pre-development hydrology, tree conservation, maximizing open space, maintenance, structural practices, and education.  This course addresses LID in the contexts of design, planning, implementation, and maintenance.   Since a significant amount of material is covered during this session, the introductory course gives an overview of LID from a holistic perspective.  Various components of LID are fragmented and will be discussed in more detail in future course offerings.  Upon completion of this course, students should be able to engage in intellectual discussions involving LID, apply principles learned in design and review scenarios, and identify intricate components of an LID, coupled with how each component functions and contributes to the overall system.

Integrating Urban Agriculture & Urban Stormwater Management: This workshop will highlight the University of the District of Columbia’s Sustainability Program, which in part, aims to integrate urban agriculture and urban stormwater management. The workshop will highlight green infrastructure, low impact development, federal, state, non-profit and for profit partnerships, and a unique partnership with the DC Housing Authority. It will also include an evaluation of economics and social impacts. Participants will engage in a design charrette for an integrated urban agriculture/urban storm water project in DC.

Introduction to Proactive Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship requires a complete commitment to mastering complex business, leadership, and life skills.  Proactive entrepreneurship requires these skills and, in addition, a thorough understanding of the leadership capacity required of the startup’s founders, key management and support team.  The course plan is to cover the curriculum described below in five 90-minute sessions.  Students will be required to draft and edit a business plan for a proposed company, and to make a presentation requesting funding, strategic partnering or other critical resources from experienced finance professionals and local angels.

Introduction to SPSS: SPSS is one of the most commonly used statistical software for data management, description and analysis. This one-day postgraduate module workshop begins with a brief introduction of the questionnaire, and introduces students to the basics of SPSS using a real survey data example, including entering and coding data, descriptive statistics, variable recoding, graphing, running chi-square test, t-test, and correlation. Both first-time and new users of SPSS are welcomed.  Prior knowledge of basic statistics (such as mean, median and normal distribution), as well as basic computer skills of computer and Microsoft Excel are required.

Survey Fundamentals and Data Collection and Descriptive Data Analysis and Presentation: Each 90-minute, non-technical workshop is for community leaders, developers, and residents who have a desire to use survey-based and data oriented tools to improve their work. The first workshop covers basics of survey designing and data collection. The second workshop covers concepts in central tendency measurements and commonly available ways of presenting data using Microsoft Excel. Registration fee for each workshop is $25 (material included) and you will receive a discounted rate of $40 if you register for both.

Swale and Filter Strip Design: Swales and filter strips are an important, but often overlooked, part of stormwater management and Low Impact Development. Being simple to construct, however, does not translate into minimal benefits. Swales “out-punch their weight” with respect to removal of certain pollutants. Recent research conducted in North Carolina, the USA, and the world has led to new design guidance for swales that allows engineers and other designers to “tailor” swale design to specific water quality goals, while still conveying needed flows. By making relatively simple adjustments to swale cross-section, length and grass height, swales can be very effective. This workshop will review the most innovative designs for swales. Design for urban areas will be emphasized. Additionally, a new swale concept, the regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC), which is a step pool conveyance system incorporating specially-designed media focused on nutrient removal, will be discussed.  Recent research on these systems has shown potential hydrologic and water quality improvements

Lead Worker Abatement Class: The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is offering training for individuals interested in becoming certified lead abatement workers. Attendees of the two-day Lead Abatement Worker course will: 1) Engage in interactive classroom training. 2) Participate in a small classroom setting and one on one training. 3) Receive a comprehensive manual to keep for future reference. 4) Engage in hands on training in a state-of-the-art containment room. 5) Receive a Lead Abatement Worker Certificate of Completion.

Introduction to Urban Bio Intensive Agriculture:  This course constitutes 15 total contact hours and enrollees may choose between two options or select an individual course(s).  Option 1: Urban Agriculture Techniques, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, High Efficiency Production Methods for Urban Growers and Urban Agriculture Innovations.  Option 2: Business Principles in Urban Agriculture, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Agriculture Site Planning and Design and Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture.  Principles of Sustainable Agriculture is a required course and must be taken before enrolling in any other certificate program offering.

Introduction to Green Infrastructure & Low Impact Development: Low Impact Development (LID) is typically defined as a stormwater management design framework aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. LID includes: mimicking pre-development hydrology, tree conservation, maximizing open space, maintenance, structural practices, and education.  This course addresses LID in the contexts of design, planning, implementation, and maintenance.  The introductory course is designed for planners, engineers, landscape architects, realtors, surveyors, local governments, and anyone else interested in environmentally friendly, cost-efficient developments.  Low Impact Development (LID) is typically defined as a stormwater management design framework aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. LID includes: mimicking pre-development hydrology, tree conservation, maximizing open space, maintenance, structural practices, and education.  This course addresses LID in the contexts of design, planning, implementation, and maintenance.   Since a significant amount of material is covered during this session, the introductory course gives an overview of LID from a holistic perspective.  Various components of LID are fragmented and will be discussed in more detail in future course offerings.  Upon completion of this course, students should be able to engage in intellectual discussions involving LID, apply principles learned in design and review scenarios, and identify intricate components of an LID, coupled with how each component functions and contributes to the overall system.

Introduction to Composting :  A constant supply of fresh compost is ideal for many community garden sites and residents who want to grow flowers or fresh produce. Composting helps to turn food scrap and yard waste into healthy and nutritious soil that can be used to garden. However, the garden site should meet a few basic requirements in order to host a composting system:
1. Is there enough space to work with?
2. Are there gardeners willing to contribute to the compost pile and to help maintain it?
3. Are there enough materials on site (both brown and green) to have a balanced compost    pile?
4. Are there gardeners who will use the finished product?
5. What are the steps to compost?
During this course we will discuss these questions and ensure that you are reay to start a small composting project

Introduction to Season Extension: Season extension will allow continued growing of some summer crops and lots of fall crops. Students will learn how to create hoop houses over raised beds to extend the growing season, and how to plant cover crops in uncovered beds to keep nutrients in the top soil layer for easy replanting in the spring.


Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education

Aquaponics/Hydroponics Technician Certification: Aquaponics refers to a food production method that combines the fields of aquaculture (fish production) and hydroponics (growing vegetables in water). Aquaculture is defined as raising aquatic organisms such as fish and shrimp; Hydroponics is defined as growing plants in nutrient rich water without soil. The waste created by the fish serves as fertilizer for the vegetable plants. The technique, therefore, allows for a synergistic system in which fish and plants are grown together for mutual benefit.  This certificate program prepares participants with the knowledge to design, build and operate aquaponics and hydroponics systems. Participants will engage in the hands-on operation and maintenance of a full scale aquaponics system to gain a deep understanding of the technology and its applications.

Beginning Beekeeping Certificate Course: This introductory beekeeping course provides the resources and knowledge needed to successfully and responsibly keep bees in the District of Columbia. Taught by active beekeepers, this course will cover beekeeping equipment; colony dynamics; diseases, parasites, and pests; how to get started in your first year; floral sources; and what to expect seasonally. Students attending all eight classes will receive a certificate of completion.

Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate Program:  This course constitutes 15 total contact hours and enrollees may choose between two options or select an individual course(s).  Option 1:  Urban Agriculture Techniques, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, High Efficiency Production Methods for Urban Growers and Urban Agriculture Innovations.  Option 2:  Business Principles in Urban Agriculture, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Agriculture Site Planning and Design and Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Principles of Sustainable Agriculture is a required course and must be taken before enrolling in any other certificate program offering.

Introduction to Urban Bio Intensive Agriculture:  This course constitutes 15 total contact hours and enrollees may choose between two options or select an individual course(s).  Option 1: Urban Agriculture Techniques, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, High Efficiency Production Methods for Urban Growers and Urban Agriculture Innovations.  Option 2: Business Principles in Urban Agriculture, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Agriculture Site Planning and Design and Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture.  Principles of Sustainable Agriculture is a required course and must be taken before enrolling in any other certificate program offering.

Creating Change Makers:  Change is challenging.  The students drawn to this program will draw on their own personal history as a source of their capacity to achieve their aims.  The program therefore will begin with self-inquiry – a “radical inquiry” – that will involve autobiographical self exploration first, into the gifts and capacities that students bring to this work, and second, into their personal passions and goals.  That foundational work will be followed by an introduction to core competencies, which will be both generic and specific.  Among the generic skills  will be the following:  team-building, working with and valuing diversity, using sound and current data, seeking and using feedback, re-framing for success, forging strong agreements, applying whole systems thinking, and building win-win agreements.  Specific competencies will include open space group facilitation, grant-writing, project budgeting, and creating a TimeBank project .  Some of these skills will be covered in the course while others will be introduced through field-based practicums.

DC Master Gardener Program: Pre-enrollment experience in gardening is not necessary; however it is helpful.  An interest in plants and a desire to use your special skills and talents is all that you need.  The program provides interested individuals with extensive training in topics such as botany, plant pathology, entomology, urban soils, vegetable gardening, pruning and plant propagation. In return, participants are required to dedicate volunteer time to demonstrate horticultural practices; answer questions, provide information, and speak at public events; and participate in community gardening programs.  The program is no longer accepting applications for the 2016 season.

Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate Program:  This course constitutes 15 total contact hours and enrollees may choose between two options or select an individual course(s).  Option 1:  Urban Agriculture Techniques, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, High Efficiency Production Methods for Urban Growers and Urban Agriculture Innovations.  Option 2:  Business Principles in Urban Agriculture, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Agriculture Site Planning and Design and Business Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, Principles of Sustainable Agriculture is a required course and must be taken before enrolling in any other certificate program offering.

Swale and Filter Strip Design: Swales and filter strips are an important, but often overlooked, part of stormwater management and Low Impact Development. Being simple to construct, however, does not translate into minimal benefits. Swales “out-punch their weight” with respect to removal of certain pollutants. Recent research conducted in North Carolina, the USA, and the world has led to new design guidance for swales that allows engineers and other designers to “tailor” swale design to specific water quality goals, while still conveying needed flows. By making relatively simple adjustments to swale cross-section, length and grass height, swales can be very effective. This workshop will review the most innovative designs for swales. Design for urban areas will be emphasized. Additionally, a new swale concept, the regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC), which is a step pool conveyance system incorporating specially-designed media focused on nutrient removal, will be discussed.  Recent research on these systems has shown potential hydrologic and water quality improvements.


Center for Nutrition Diet and Health

Cooking Healthy from Farm to Table:  Become the confident cook you’ve always wanted to be by mastering the basic skills for kitchen success.  Learn to cut, dice and slice like a pro.  This 5-day, hands-on cooking series will focus on practical essential kitchen skills and the fundamentals of cooking everything from grilling and roasting to braising and sautéing. Learn how simple it can be to make homemade and delicious meals. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and get advice on specific techniques you want to know more about.

Professional Food Managers Certification Training (Food Handling): Each three day class will meet from 9:00am-4:00pm, each day.  All classes will be held at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington DC, 20008. The course fee includes the NSF Guard Professional Food Manager Certification Training Version 6.0 and one round of testing for the national exam.

SMART Nutrition (“Safe, Manageable, Affordable, Relevant, and Tasty Nutrition to Support Healthy Aging):  “SMART Nutrition” is an acronym for Safe, Manageable, Affordable, Relevant, and Tasty nutrition geared toward senior residents. This 8-session certificate course is designed to give senior citizens practical healthy aging and chronic disease prevention strategies with a sustainable food, nutrition, and physical activity emphasis. Participants will engage in interactive nutrition education, healthy food budgeting, cooking demonstration, physical activity, nutrition policy, service, and peer coaching activities that will enable them to enhance their personal lives and better serve their community. The adapted evidence-based Eat Smart, Live Strong curriculum for older adults and the University of the District of Columbia Urban Food Hubs Model will serve as the core foundation to the certificate group sessions and service activities.


Center for 4-H and Youth Development

Volunteer Leaders TrainingVolunteers have been an integral part of the success of 4-H since the 1920s, serving as club and project leaders, camp counselors, and even as trainers and mentors.  4-H adult volunteers have the unique opportunity to make a significant and positive contribution to youth development by sharing learned skills, making a difference in their lives and leaving a legacy. The 4-H Volunteer Leaders Training prepares adults to assist youth in managing 4-H clubs and activities. Learn how to support our youth in learning about leadership and opportunities that help them to meet their full potential.

Engaging Youth in Urban Agriculture: (Workshop for Educators): This course is designed for adults working with children and includes innovative ways of engaging them in agriculture. The course addresses elementary, middle school and high school youth. The course includes experiential learning activities that is engaging and fun. The program includes a field trip to a local school garden and projects and ideas about engaging teens in a farmer’s market.

Community CPR: Heartsaver® First Aid CPR AED is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage an emergency until emergency medical services arrives. Skills covered in this course include first aid; choking relief in adults, children, and infants; and what to do for sudden cardiac arrest in adults, children, and infants. This course teaches skills with the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which allows instructors to observe the students, provide feedback, and guide the students’ learning of skills. This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs a course completion card in CPR and AED use to meet job, regulatory, or other requirements.

Nanny Certificate Course:  This certificate course is designed to support Nannies with the essential tools they need to properly manage the children they are in charge of daily. The class include training about child development and those important age milestones, CPR and first aid safety, Infant Care, Nutrition and Cooking, positive discipline, and working with older children.


Other Offerings

Volunteer Training:  Volunteers are an integrals part of the success of so many organizations.  At the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) College of Agriculture Urban Sustainability & Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) we rely heavily on and greatly appreciate the contributions to our success through our hardworking volunteers.  Over our many years of community service as the District of Columbia’s only urban Land grant institution we have learned that proper training of volunteers is critical for the volunteer. The CAUSES Volunteer training provides a frame work of processes and procedures that volunteers in any organization should expect to experience in becoming effective and treasured volunteers. Volunteers will be engaged in activities and group projects that successfully drive home essential concepts that must be mastered before they begin their volunteer service.  All participants will need to register for this training via the Volgistics System online and be subject to a criminal background checks. The certificate will qualify your to work in any of our CAUSES programs.

CAUSES Academic Programs

RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Nancy Chapman, Program Director
Urban Architecture and Community Planning - Dr. Susan Kliman, Program Director
PSM in Water Resources Management - Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Health Education - John Slack, Program Director


CAUSES Land-grant Programs

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education – Che' Axum, Director
Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience – Dr. Dwane Jones, Director
Water Resources Research Institute – Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health - Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director
Institute of Gerontology - Claudia John, Director
Center for 4-H and Youth Development – Rebecca Bankhead, Director
Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) - Clarence Pearson, Director


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