Dr. Tolessa Deksissa is the Director of Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Tolessa is a founding and current Technical Director and Quality Assurance officer of Environmental Quality Testing Laboratory (EQTL). He joined UDC in 2006 as a Research Associate. Since then, he has been spearheading the national accreditation and recertification of EQTL. His leadership has been instrumental in establishing and expanding environmental and water related research infrastructure and graduate program at UDC. Since 2010, Tolessa is the founding and current Director of Professional Science Master’s Program in Water Resources Management. He has initiated and taught several graduate and undergraduate environmental and sustainability courses, and implemented several research projects funded through USGS, USDA and NSF. His previous and pending research projects include water quality assessment and modeling, emerging contaminants, GIS based modeling of green infrastructure, trace metal analysis in urban soils, fate, and transport of organic contaminants in water, integrated urban wastewater system modeling, adaptive water resources management, integrated urban agriculture and green infrastructure in a circular economy, ecosystem service analysis, and fostering significant learning in sciences. Important parts of his research findings are published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and technical reports. Dr. Deksissa earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Technology and MS in Environmental Sciences, both from Ghent University, Belgium.
Sebhat Tefera is a Project Specialist for the Environmental Quality Testing Laboratory (EQTL), Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia. He joined CAUSES in 2013. Prior to joining EQTL, Sebhat was working as an Adjunct Professor at the Community College of the District of Columbia for four years. Prior to the Community College, he worked with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) formerly known as the National Food Processers Association (NFPA) in Washington, DC for more than 20 years. His area of expertise includes metal analysis in soil, water and food using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), perchlorate and other organic compounds analyses in water, vegetables, fruits and milk using Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode-Array Detection (HPLC/DAD). He received his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology, Poland.
Sania Rose is a Project Assistant for the Environmental Quality Testing Laboratory (EQTL), Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at the University of the District of Columbia. She joined CAUSES as a full time Project Assistant in April 2018. Her area of expertise includes microbiology analysis, organic, and inorganic contaminant analysis in water, soil, and plant tissues. Prior to her current role, she has worked as a research assistant/teacher’s assistant for more than three years at UDC. She has worked on several research projects including monitoring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water and sediments, pesticide analysis in fruits and vegetables, trace metal analysis in urban gardens, and advancing soil moisture sensors-based irrigation system calibration. She has also taught undergraduate water quality courses as an Adjunct Professor. Sania received her master’s degree in Water Resource Management (PSM) and bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of the District of Columbia.