Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience

Mission & Overview

The Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience (CSDR) provides relevant and innovative applied research and education to students, District residents, and the world in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, sustainable spaces, urban economics and entrepreneurship, and behavioral and social change.


Community Education and Trainings

Green Infrastructure Program

Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) ImageDC Water, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, launched the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program to train, qualify and certify eligible participants for the green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance workforce. The University of the District of Columbia provides the training at no cost to District residents who qualify (a high school diploma or equivalent and no college education).




Urban Gardening and Forestry Outreach 

CSDR Tree ImageThe Urban Gardening and Forestry Outreach program provides District residents with information and training to support food gardens and promote tree health, with special consideration given to the unique challenges and opportunities of the urban context. Our programs relay the significance and many benefits of urban food production as well as the array of ecological benefits provided by city trees. Through publications, demonstrations, technical assistance, consultations, and workshops, residents are educated about community gardening, tree care, forestry niche crops, and invasive species that threaten the city and region.





DC Master Naturalist Program 

DCMNP Logo (Social)

The DC Master Naturalist Program (DCMNP) is targeted at a wide diversity of DC residents and attracts a variety of applicants. You may be beginning a career related to environmental issues, changing careers, exploring possible professional routes, supplementing related or non-related experience, an educator wanting to expand your horizons, or have a strong interest in the natural world. Each year we attempt to build an incoming cohort of trainees that come from a diversity of backgrounds so that participants not only learn from instructors and service partners but also their peers and existing members of the program.

If you’re interested in becoming a program instructor or trainee, please visit here. All inquiries can be sent to







Data Collection Clinics

CSDR Data Collection Class ImageThe Data Collection Clinics provide in-depth knowledge and skills associated with urban agriculture data collection. Participants will learn about and practice formulating a data collection plan and selecting appropriate data collection methods through individual, small-group and large-group exercises, discussions and computer applications. This course is designed for individuals who manage, work or volunteer at urban farms and gardens and need to become skilled at gathering data to use in analysis of projects.




Compost Trainings

CSDR Plant Image 2Our compost training workshops will teach you how to easily and effectively make your own compost. Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. Adding compost to soil improves its fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants. The organic matter provided in compost provides food for microorganisms, which keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition.




UDC Farmer’s Market

UDC Farmers Market ImageThe UDC farmer’s market is a program of the Center for Sustainable Development. The market offers fresh and local food to the D.C. community. Vendors include farmers, producers, growers, bakers and artisans from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Weekly events for this season include live music, cooking demonstrations, and information about food safety. UDC nutrition educators and chefs will also be on hand to offer cooking tips and nutrition information to shoppers.
The UDC Van Ness Farmer’s Market, in collaboration with Van Ness Main Street and the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, is located at 4340 Connecticut Avenue N.W. in front of the David A. Clarke School of Law. The market will be open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., May 5 until mid-November.


Water Resources Research Institute

The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) is housed within CSDR. The mission of WRRI is to provide the District of Columbia with interdisciplinary research support to identify DC water resources problems and contribute to their solution. The institute provides training and disseminates research findings that address water issues in the D.C. area, and beyond. The institute also supports collaborative research that engages not only faculty members and students, but also a broad array of stakeholders to address regional water issues in a holistic way. Areas of focus include drinking water source protection, storm water management and planning, water safety, and watershed stewardship.

For more information on WRRI, click here.

Staff Contact

Dwane Jones, Ph.D., ACC (Associate Certified Coach)
Acting Dean of CAUSES and Director of Land-grant Programs

Dr. Kamran Zendehdel
Assistant Director, Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience

Dr. Tolessa Deksissa
Director, Water Resources Research Institute

Thomas Wheet 
4H Program Associate for High School

Ashley Grant
Staff Assistant, Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience


Virtual Sustainability Map
UDC Sustainability Map (Handout)

For More Information: