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.
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.
Jack Speelman is a student at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, studying Mechanical Engineering and CNC Machining, with a Minor in Spanish Language. He has been with Iskashitaa for over a year, leading harvests, events, and more. Jack is now working with UA interns on community outreach and organization efficiency. 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 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.
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 Classes 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.
Cristina Moraga is a twenty-year-old sophomore student at the University of Arizona, majoring in Nutritional Sciences and minoring in Spanish. Having moved from Chile at a young age, Cristina has lived in Arizona for the last 12 years, and in Tucson for almost 6. She is excited about all that Tucson has to offer, especially at the UA, including internship opportunities, clubs, intermural sports and other activities. Through her school and major she was able to intern for Iskashitaa in the spring of 2017 and she stayed on as the Food Workshop Coordinator for the duration of that summer. She is now coming back to Iskashitaa through a different role, this time under the UA overseeing a group of new interns to implement new goals and ideas. She is thrilled about this opportunity to do amazing things with people she is lucky to call her friends.
15 year Tucson resident, born in California, raised in Los Angeles. Connected via Casa Grande. Former cook, current juicing enthusiast, potter, player of instruments out of tune and out of key. Found Iskashitaa through a traffic ticket! – came for community service, stayed for the cause! My dogs know Miley Cyrus! Plan to continue to encourage leadership to invest time and resources in the Statements of Net Assets and the Statement of Activity. Just recently Mr. Bradwell was quoted saying "the best thing that ever happened to me was that traffic ticket."
And holds the following certification and education: Bachelors of Business Admin, Accounting – University of Arizona – 2004. Associate of Applied Sciences, Accounting – Central Arizona College, Honors, 2001, Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor
Came to Tucson in 1953 at 13 years old. Worked at UCLA and University of Arizona for 30 years in cancer biology as a research specialist where I worked with many foreign students and post docs. Using early DNA Engineering techniques as tools, I studied oncogenes, authored technical papers, managed and taught others. With my husband, we raised three children, now scattered. I have been working with Iskashitaa for about 10 years.
It gives me great satisfaction to see food and produce in large quantities going to good use. I enjoy working with folks from all backgrounds. I like the idea of using my volunteering so that others can volunteer. Iskashitaa offers variety in people to know and work to do.
I'm from Phoenix, Arizona and I came to the UofA to study Nutritional Sciences. I've recently decided that I don't want to pursue a career in science or nutrition and I'm still trying to decide what I want to do. I have an interest in music, helping others in whatever way I can and giving opportunities to others.
My goal while working at Iskashitaa is to find out what it is like to really help people out in a tangible way. I would like to see what it's like working with an organization that's dedicated to helping others.
I was born in Tucson and raised in the small town of Benson, AZ. I moved to Tucson in the fall of 2014 after receiving a scholarship from the University of Arizona. I'm interested in refugee rights and issues, though when I'm not working or studying I like to read comic books and listen to music.
My goals while working with Iskashitaa are to help lessen the gender gap faced by female refugees when it comes to navigating Tucson and riding the busses to and from important locations. I also hope to get the public more aware of the struggles of refugees and to lessen the misinformation that seems to be perpetuated in the media.