Calypso Staff

susanSusan Willsrud

Co-founder, Farm Director

Susan Willsrud is the Farm Director. Her responsibilities include implementation of the Farmer Training Program, oversight of farm production, educational program planning, annual budgeting, program evaluation, workshop instruction and CSA operation. In 2008, Susan started developing Calypso’s Seed Garden. She is currently developing Calypso’s 2017 Farmer Training Program.

Susan has a BA degree in Zoology from University of California, Davis and a MS degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She has 16 years of organic farming experience working on several farms in California and Alaska. She co-founded Calypso in 2000 with her husband Tom and has been the lead farmer here since. Susan is an enthusiastic advocate for local food and has worked extensively with other organizations and community leaders to forward sustainable agriculture in Alaska.

Christie Shell

Assistant Director

As the Assistant Director at Calypso, Christie is a true “Jack-of-all-trades,” having been involved in every aspect of Calypso programs and operation since 2001. Currently, she is focusing on farm production and marketing, assisting with the development and teaching of the Farmer Training Program, assisting with annual fundraising, overseeing the production of school gardens and doing the farm bookkeeping.

Christie has a BS degree in Natural Resources with a focus in Environmental Education from Ohio State University. Christie also has extensive experience in environmental education in Fairbanks. She started Calypso’s School Garden Initiative and EATinG program and has worked in all aspects of farm production and marketing at Calypso.


Tom Zimmer

Co-founder, Ecology Center Director

Tom’s responsibilities as the Ecology Center Director include environmental education planning, soil fertility management, ecological farming instruction and consultation, farm infrastructure planning and development, and community outreach. He also cares for the farms various animals and is the farm’s sheep shearer.

Tom has a BS degree in Geological Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a MS degree in Soil Science from Utah State University. Tom has wide-ranging experience working with diverse agricultural systems. As a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa he designed and developed a Sub Saharan fruit orchard and nursery and worked to develop home gardens. In California, he worked as an intern on a 200-acre organic farm, where he worked in all aspects of production including: marketing, general field labor, sheep management and use of farm machinery. In South-central Alaska, Tom managed a group of eight interns on a 2-acre organic farm. In 2000, he co-founded Calypso with Susan and continues to dedicate his efforts to creating a healthy, diverse farm system.

Seasonal Staff

Jesse BartlettIMG_2355

School Garden Manager

Jesse was born and raised in Fairbanks and recently graduated from UAF with a degree in Spanish with a minor Mathematics.  She has a great interest in locally sourced foods as a way to support the local economy and sustainable living which is one of the major reasons she loves working with Calypso. She is the mother of a beautiful and very social little girl, Raven, who just started kindergarten at Pearl Creek Elementary. Jesse loves to play music, canoe, hike, travel, snowboard, laugh with friends around a fire, star gaze and delve into the culinary arts.

Peter Miller

Farm Educator

Peter is responsible for scheduling and organizing field trips on the farm, as well as rallying our amazing docents who volunteer their time to educate visitors.



Hillary Kinghillary-3

Community Outreach and Fundraising Assistant

Originally from Minnesota, Hillary moved to Alaska in 2015 to participate in Calypso’s Farmer Training Program. Outside of her work at the farm, she keeps up her art practice and teaches elementary art classes.


Amelia Sikescalypso8-15-16-47

Field Trip Assistant

Amelia is working with our field trips this fall.  She is excited to educate kids about sustainable living, plant and animal life in an engaging, hand-on way!




Joshua JeffriesDSCN9846

School Garden Caretaker

As school garden caretaker this season, Josh works in the gardens at the Hunter, Pearl Creek, Wood River, Chinook, and Randy Smith schools. He enjoys experiencing the best parts of Fairbanks summer through the outdoor work in the gardens.  Josh looks forward to learning the fundamentals of gardening this season so that he can use that experience at home.


Board of Directors

  • Margaret Eagleton (Finance)
  • Josh Steadman (Technology)
  • Erin McIntire (Fundraising)
  • Lynn & Charley Basham (On-Farm Education)
  • Bill Wood (Infrastructure)
  • Jessica Garcia (School Gardens)
  • Dillon McIntire (Youth Seat)
  • Susan Kessler (Community Outreach/Social Justice)
  • Vacant (CSA)
  • Vacant (Board Development)
  • Christie Shell / Susan Willsrud (Staff Liaison)