Sustainability Initiative


Dwane Jones, Ph.D. ACC (Associate Certified Coach) is the Acting Dean of CAUSES and Director of Land-grant Programs.  Dr. Jones conducts research and teaches courses in Urban Sustainability, Urban Design, Urban Planning, and Low Impact Development. His educational background consists of degrees in Urban Planning, Environmental Planning, and Urban Design.

The Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience encompasses the three pillars of sustainability- people, places, and profit (environment, economics, and equity). As such, the Center consists of faculty and staff appointments in Environmental Sciences, Economic Analysis, Sustainable Spaces (green infrastructure, green buildings, and resources), and Entrepreneurship.

“The Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience is a central component of CAUSES in which all academic and land grant initiatives coalesce. The Center implements research projects that integrate all programs of CAUSES in an effort to produce and understand the implications and impacts of sustainable development,” explained Dr. Jones.

UDC’s Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience also includes a world-class water quality research lab as part of its Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI).

When asked to describe his vision for the Center, Dr. Jones stated: “My vision is that the Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience will become a leader in educational excellence and research in sustainable development. This vision includes developing, implementing, and evaluating applied research projects as building blocks of sustainability. Each project will then become a classroom for student learning, community engagement, and economic development.”

Watch Dr. Jones discuss low impact development on CAUSES TV.

UDC Honored with Three Sustainable DC Grants

UDC Honored with Three Sustainable DC Grants - Pic of Past President Lyons and CAUSES TeamThe University of the District of Columbia was named one of the honorees of the Sustainable DC Innovation Challenge, winning three out of seven grants for a total of $921,000. The grant competition was established to promote novel initiatives among District agencies to support the Sustainable DC Plan, created by Former Mayor Vincent C. Gray. This plan was created to make the District of Columbia the greenest, healthiest, and most sustainable city in the nation. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences was awarded three grants; one for building three state-of-the-art neighborhood scale aquaponics facilities; one for building a commercial kitchen facility and food truck to promote nutrition, job-skills, and entrepreneurship training; and one to create a native plant nursery to combat invasive plant species and restore native habitats. All three facilities will serve as community education centers to create local green jobs training.

UDC Hosts Successful Post Oil City exhibit and workshops

UDC Hosts Successful Post Oil City exhibit and workshops - Pic of Display

Presented by CAUSES and the Goethe-Institut Washington, Post-Oil City: The History of the City’s Future is an international planning and landscape architecture exhibition that presents paradigms of traditional climate-sensitive construction from the past on display in the field of sustainable urban planning. The innovative solutions for the Post-Oil City were envisioned by architects, planners, designers, and engineers from 10 different countries. Embedded within the exhibition were workshops and panels on topics shaping the Post-Oil City of the future including mobility, energy, and functionality. Throughout the exhibit, presenters from federal and district government agencies and the private and nonprofit sectors offered a broad range of stakeholder perspectives over a series of topical dialogues. Other workshops and dialogue hosted throughout the exhibit brought together speakers from the District Department of the Environment, the District Department of Transportation, the District Department of Housing and Community Development, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Volkswagen of America, TransSolar GMBH, the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Alta Planning + Design, sustainable building company REHAU, DC Water, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the German Embassy. Click here for more information.

CAUSES Division of land-grant programs

The Land Grant Division of CAUSES offers research-based community education and professional certification programs that are delivered through five centers: the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education, the Center for Sustainable Development, which includes the Water Resources Research Institute; the Center for 4-H and Youth Development;  the Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health; and the Architectural Research Institute. Each center offers programs and services that are designed to work directly and collaboratively with the neighborhoods where we are located in order to enrich the lives of District of Columbia residents. The five Centers also offer a range of assessment services to residents and community groups including nutrition education, soil testing, water quality monitoring, lead abatement, and gardening demonstrations. Collectively, the Centers offer over 2,000 programs and serve more than 36,000 participants annually.

UDC and partners host urban revitalization exhibit and conference featuring Hamburg, Germany

CAUSES, together with the Goethe-Institut Washington, HafenCity Hamburg, and the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Hamburg, recently hosted the conference and accompanying exhibition: Hamburg: Building the City Anew. A Journey into the City of Tomorrow. The exhibit served as the basis for a panel discussion engaging Hamburg urban revitalization partners with representatives from the U.S. government, the District of Columbia, the private sector, and local communities to design the city of the future while bridging economic gaps within the city.

Watch a special episode of CAUSES TV featuring the CEO of HafenCity Hamburg, Mr. Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg as he discusses Hamburg’s approach to urban sustainability.

UDC Sustainability Map on Van Ness Campus

Keep up with UDC’s sustainability transformation with our newly revised map of the Van Ness Campus. The map contains information on capital projects, efficiency practices, sustainability research facilities, transportation options, and environmental impact indicators. Click here for a PDF copy of the map. For more information about the Van Ness Campus Sustainability Map or to request paper copies, contact Dr. Dwane Jones (

UDC leads in the formation of the District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge

UDC recently led a group of nine District universities and colleges in a collective effort to support Sustainable DC. The District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) was designed to be a meaningful yet flexible commitment that produces tangible benefits for DC’s local environment and community. Signatory institutions choose from a menu of performance areas in which to take action, such as jobs and community development, green education and training, energy, water, and waste. Using CUSP as a standard, the colleges and universities in the District of Columbia are collectively committed to making Washington, DC the greenest college town in America. To view a full version of the signed CUSP, click here. To view a list of UDC’s initial commitments, click here.