Grant Programs

USDA-NIFA Seed Grants

CAUSES receives funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to support research programs that: 1) improve food security; 2) mitigate climate change; 3) combat childhood obesity and other food related illness; 4) improve food safety; 5) improve water safety and management; and 6) expand alternative energy solutions. CAUSES awards seed grants of typically up to $60,000 for three years to innovative research proposals that address these programmatic areas.

Recipients of USDA-NIFA grants
Request for Proposals

USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant

CAUSES receives funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to support research programs that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. or U.S. territory grown specialty crops. CAUSES gives subawards of $10,000-$50,000 for two years to innovative research proposals that focus on specialty fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Recipients of USDA-AMS subawards
Request for Proposals
Project Submission Template

Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) Competitive Grants

WRRI is a Federal and District of Columbia government partnership that awards grants for research projects that focus on identifying and solving issues facing water resources in the District of Columbia and the surrounding region. WRRI plays a major role in coordinating and facilitating innovative research projects through its competitive grants awards to the Consortium of Universities of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area: Howard University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Catholic University, Gallaudet University and American University. Areas of focus include drinking water source protection, storm water management, and water and wastewater treatment.

Recipients of WRRI grants
Request for Proposals


Recipients of USDA-NIFA Grants

Year Title Principle Investigators Award NIFA Goal(s) Reports
2015 Determining Effects of Nitrogen Fixing Plants on Nutrient Density and Productivity in Agroforesty and Polyculture Systems Lorraine Clark (University of the District of Columbia) & Nazirahk Amen (ND L.Ac.) $59,975 Food security
2015 Development of A Novel Stormwater Runoff Collection and Treatment System for Urban Agriculture and Food Security Jiajun Xu & Tolessa Deksissa (University of the District of Columbia) $60,000 Water safety
2015 Pesticide residue on fruit and vegetable from farmers market and community gardens in the DC Tolessa Deksissa, Sebhat Tefera & Yacov Assa (University of the District of Columbia) $59,998 Food safety
2014 Analysis of Watering Devices for the Planting and Survival of Young Urban Canopy Trees Mchezaji Axum (University of the District of Columbia) & Peter Forbes (Trees for the Planet) $31,200 Climate change 2015
2014
2014 Solar Wells as Alternative Source of Water Supply for Sustainable Food Production Samuel Lakeou & Tolessa Deksissa (University of the District of Columbia) $24,408 Alternative energy solutions; Climate change 2015
2014
2014 Soil Analysis for Trace Elements and Urban Gardening in the District of Columbia: Food Safety Tolessa Deksissa (University of the District of Columbia) $75,000 Food safety 2014
2014 Promoting Sustainability: Growing Nutrient Dense Rice Using Drip Fertigation and Biodegradable Mulch Mchezaji Axum (University of the District of Columbia) and Nazirahk Amen (ND L.Ac.) $75,000 Food security 2015
2014
2014 Establishment of Computational Infrastructure at UDC to Initiate Climate Change Research for the District of Columbia Pradeep Behera, Dong Jeong, Tolessa Deksissa, Elgloria Harrison, Dwane Jones & Mchezaji Axum (University of the District of Columbia) $64,928 Climate change 2014
2014 The Five Pillars of Economic Development:  A Storytelling Approach to Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Development for two underserved neighborhoods in the District of Columbia Sabine O’Hara (University of the District of Columbia) $48,050 Childhood obesity and other food related illness; Food security 2014

Recipients of USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Subawards

Year Title Principle Investigators Award NIFA Goal(s) Reports
2015 Four Season Specialty Crop Production, Distribution, and Education Common Good City Farm $48,775 Food security
2015 The AyaUplift Project: An Urban-Rural Alliance for Healthy Food Access and Economic Opportunity in Washington, DC Dreaming Out Loud, Inc. $46,455 Food security
2015 Washington Parks & People’s Community Harvest program: Food Hub Washington Parks and People $50,000 Food security
2015 Installation of Fort Stanton Neighborhood Farm: To Grow Urban Food and Urban Farmers DC Urban Greens $50,000 Food security
2014 Capital Area Food Bank Community Gardens Capital Area Food Bank $50,000 Food security 2015
2014 City Orchard Bread for the City $50,000 Food security 2015
2014 Specialty Crop Access to Communities in Need Purple Mountain Organics $54,933.74 Food security 2015
2014 Introduction of the ‘Neighborhood Farm’ as a Model to Reduce the Impact of Food Deserts DC Urban Greens $50,000 Food security; Childhood obesity 2015
2013 The Youth Produce Ambassador Program Common Good City Farm $47,000 Food security; Childhood obesity 2015
2014
2013 Promoting Best Practices in Sustainable Gardening: Three-Season Garden Education for Continuous Harvest Neighborhood Farm Initiative $50,000 Food security 2015
2014
2013 Washington Youth Garden Specialty Crop Field Trip Program Friends of the National Arboretum‘s Washington Youth Garden $50,000 Food security; Childhood obesity 2015
2014
2013 Emerging Urban Farmer Business Development Training University of the District of Columbia $7,667.60 Improve food security 2015
2014
2012 Washington Youth Garden Specialty Crop Gardening Program Friends of the National Arboretum’s Washington Youth Garden $45,000 Food security; Childhood obesity 2013
2014
2015
2012 Educating for Specialty Crop Enhancement through Hydroponics University of the District of Columbia $29,584.27 Food security; Childhood obesity 2013
2014
2015
2012 Specialty Crop enhancement through Soil Productivity Research and Extension Education University of the District of Columbia $80,914.63 Food security 2013
2014
2015

Recipients of WRRI Competitive Grants

Year Title Principle Investigators Award NIFA Goal(s) Reports
2015 Evaluating Long-term water quantity and quality performance of Bioretention systems in Washington, DC using monitoring and modeling Arash Massoudieh (Catholic University of America) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Does hydraulic fracturing pose a threat to DC’s water supply? A field and modeling
Study
Karen Knee (American University) $9,955 Water safety
2015 A Novel Water Treatment Solution Using Hybrid Mesoporous Materials Embedded with Metallic Oxide Nanoparticle Xueqing Song (University of the District of Columbia) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Water Pollution Prevention and Removal Using Nanostructured Smart Fluid with Switchable Surfactants Jiajun Xu & Xueqing Song (University of the District of Columbia) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Evaluating Impacts of Urban Water Ways on the Transportation Networks for the District of Columbia Pradeep Behera & Yao Yu (University of the District of Columbia) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Potomac River Stage Forecasting Using a Hybrid Particle Swarm Optimization and Evolutionary Algorithm (PSO-EA) Algorithm with LS-SVM Nian Zhang & Pradeep Behera (University of the District of Columbia) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Identifying Sources of Chlordane Contamination in Anacostia River Food Fish Harriette Phelps & Sebhat Tefera (University of the District of Columbia) $10,000 Water safety
2015 Evaluation of “green roof” effectiveness for nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended solid reduction in runoff from precipitation events Stephen MacAvoy (American University) $9,993 Water safety
2014 Development of software Analytical Tool to conduct storm Event Analysis Pradeep Behera & Dong Jeong (University of the District of Columbia) $12,400 Water safety 2014
2014 Prediction of Surface Water Supply Sources for the District of Columbia Using Least Squares Support Vector Machine (LS-SVM) Nian Zhang & Pradeep Behera (University of the District of Columbia) $9,417 Water safety 2014
2014 Stormwater Flood Prediction and Mitigation in Bloomingdale and Ledroit Park Using Bayesian Network and Time Series Analysis Valbona Bejleri (University of the District of Columbia) $14,700 Water safety 2014
2014 Monitoring of Uptake of Water Soluble Phosphorus in Wastewater Samples by Algae Using 31P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy Xueqing Song (University of the District of Columbia) $15,000 Water safety 2014
2014 Developing a chance-constraint framework for optimization of long-term hydraulic performance of green roofs Arash Massoudieh (Catholic University of America) & Pradeep Behera (University of the District of Columbia) $14,918 Water safety 2014
2014 Geochemical characteristics of an urban river: detecting the influences of an urban landscape Stephen MacAvoy (American University) $15,000 Water safety 2014
2014 Determining the Feasibility of Simulating the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment Proposed Stormwater Volume Trading Market Using Agent-Based Modeling Pradeep Behera (University of the District of Columbia & Seth Brown (Water Environment Federation) $10,900 Water safety 2014
2013 Monitoring Groundwater for Developing Alternative Source of Water Supply for
Homeland Security in the District of Columbia
Kobina Atobrah & Tolessa Deksissa (University of the District of Columbia) $15,000 Water safety 2013
2013 Stormwater Quality Management with Green Infrastructure: Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue Charles Glass (Howard University) $15,000 Water safety 2013
2013 Bayesian Parameter Estimation of Activated Sludge Processes In Blue Plains Waste Water Treatment Plant Arash Massoudieh (Catholic University of America) $14,830 Water safety 2013
2013 Continuous Monitoring of Urea Concentrations and Harmful Algal Productivity and Physiology Caroline Solomon (Gallaudet University) $13,466 Water safety 2013

CAUSES Academic Programs

RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Dr. Prema Ganganna, 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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