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Land-Grant Research

Housed within the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences, our land-grant centers are tasked with enhancing the quality of life of urban society. Our land-grant centers consist of the following centers:

Center for Nutrition Diet & Health (includes the Institute of Gerontology)

Center for Sustainable Development and Resilience

(includes the Water Resources Research Institute)

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education

CAUSES research is primarily guided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA)’s focus areas to 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 administers three grant programs to support research by UDC personnel, the Consortium of Universities of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, and other groups working in these focal areas.

By incorporating students into its research programs, CAUSES will develop students to be: 1) global citizens committed to local relevance; 2) adept at solving urban problems; 3) committed to health and wellness and food and water security; 4) skilled at navigating diverse social, cultural, built, and natural environments; 5) independent thinkers and collaborative team players; and 6) adaptive lifelong learners.

CAUSES will continue to promote environmental conservation; community engagement; and awareness of environmental, social, health, and agricultural issues. District residents will benefit from the results of programs of the land-grant centers, and UDC will continue to move toward achieving breakthroughs in urban agriculture and sustainability.



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CAUSES Land-grant Programs

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education

Che’ Axum, Director

Center for Resilience, Innovation, and Infrastructure


Water Resources Research Institute

Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director

Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health

Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director

Institute of Gerontology

Bhushan Kulkarni, Project Specialist