Get to know our team!
Eiswerth, a resident of Tucson since 1992, worked as a research geologist specializing in GeoSpatial Information Technologies with the US Geological Survey. After ten years working extensively with technology transfer in Latin America, she pursued a career as an environmental scientist working at the Office of Arid Lands, Arizona Remote Sensing Center. Her work included projects in East and West Africa. In 2003, after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, Eiswerth founded a community based organization, which soon focused on UN refugees. The programs have evolved from harvesting a few thousand pounds of fruit to an annual harvest of over 50 tons of fruit, nuts, and vegetables from backyards, local farms and orchards. Barbara serves on the state Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) steering committee, heads the UALEAF project, and is an adjunct at the University of Arizona in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Development & Program Director
Michael Rosenkrantz has more than 30 years of work experience in NGOs. From March 2009-August 2016 he lived in India and Nepal working for the Indian Government and a variety of NGOs. Besides working at Iskashitaa Mike is also an Assistant Women's Wheelchair Basketball Coach at the University of Arizona. Mike has an MBA and an MA-Sociology.
Harvesting & Volunteer Coordinator
Micah Hadley has aspired to his current position since the first of three stints with Iskashitaa in 2014. He has worked at the intersection of food security, environmental/economic sustainability, and creative social justice for more than seven years, focusing on partnerships in long-term, community-directed projects. From 2012-14 Hadley was a researcher with Buddhism for Social Development Action (Kampong Cham, Cambodia) in an ongoing project to build sustainable sources of income for community members living with HIV; he interned onsite in 2013. In 2014 he worked with Vida y Esperanza in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to design a hydroponic horse-feeding system for their urban equine therapy program for at-risk youth. Hadley received his BA in Sociology-Anthropology and Spanish in 2015. Outside of Iskashitaa he enjoys performing music, creating socially engaged sculpture, and long walks on the Rillito.
Food Workshop Chef
Chef Tom Kresler is a classically trained chef with 15 years of experience. Chef Kresler spent 30 years in industry prior to venturing into the culinary world. Strengths include purchasing, cost control, and Italian cuisine.
Chef Kresler has had experience as Executive Chef at a ski resort and a boutique hotel in Colorado.
He has certificates in “The Evolution of Italian Cuisine”, “Artisan Italian Cheese Making”, “Traditional Italian Charcuterie”, and “The Foundation of Italian Cuisine: Curing, Pickling, and Sun Drying” as well as “Artisan Bread Making”.
Chef also holds a diploma “Slow Food-Master Italian Cooking” from The Instituto Superiore De Gastronomia in Jessi, Italy.
He has spent 5 years in the field of Culinary Arts Education.
Research Intern, TREE
Jack Speelman is a student at the University of Arizona, studying Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Spanish Language. Between class and work, he has been volunteering with Iskashitaa for over a year, assisting with harvests, office work, compost, events, and more. He is particularly interested in the complete cycle of produce, from growing to harvest to processing to disposal, and ultimately to growing again.
Food Preservation Workshops Intern
Leah is a recent transplant to Tucson and is enjoying learning about all the Sonoran Desert has to offer, including new recipes for the edible plants and fruits harvested by Iskashitaa! She is coordinating the Food Preservation Workshops with Tom Kresler, in addition to other educational outreach activities. She found her passion for working in the intersection of food, health, community-building and the environment through her travels, working on farms and teaching English in Ecuador, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Turkey, and Cambodia. She is currently completing her practicum in Community Nutrition Education as part of her Masters in Nutrition and Integrative Health. In addition to learning about her new desert environs, she enjoys cooking, painting, and exploring the surrounding mountains here in Tucson.
Marco is a computer science student who started volunteering at Iskashitaa in the spring of 2016, soon after he moved to Tucson from his native country of Spain. He was introduced to the awesome world of fruit trees at a young age by his plant nerd parents.