Meet the DOT Garden Team!

The DOT Garden team organizes programming in the garden and works with Albuquerque Academy faculty and staff, as well as our many partners and supporters to share the garden with our community.


Tiana Baca

Garden & Sustainability Director

M.S. Geography + Environmental Studies | B.S. Anthropology
Permaculture Design Certificate

Driven by a passion for plants and a love for the Southwest, Tiana has worked on several agricultural projects across New Mexico, exploring the potential of growing food in arid landscapes. She has a keen interest in native, traditional, and medicinal plants of the Southwest. Tiana’s farming experience began on a four acre, diversified Organic farm, specializing in market gardening and restaurant sales. From there, she managed an education-based farm at Cottonwood Gulch, where she also explored a field-to-kitchen approach. These experiences, along with her continued permaculture education, solidified her passion for community education and development. The DOT Gardens provide a unique space for her to explore regenerative agricultural techniques while engaging the larger community in experiential and place-based education opportunities.

Email Tiana

Heidi Anderson

Garden & Sustainability Educator

M.S. Biology | B.S. Zoology + History

Heidi has been birding, pestering wriggly creatures, and digging in the dirt for more than 30 years. She has taught a variety of subjects including: biology, history, sustainability solutions, and field ecology to students of all ages. Her studies have been underpinned by observing and learning about how humans interface with ecosystems through a sense of place, resource use, food and agriculture. She is passionate about making learning accessible to students through hands-on, multi-sensory education. What better place to explore all these concepts and more – and have a hand in raising delicious, nourishing food — than at the DOT Garden!

Serena Wright

Sustainability Intern

B.S. Education

Serena has been volunteering in the garden since the fall of 2016 after taking a Water Smart Gardening course. She has a passion growing food and fostering resilience in the desert. The lessons she’s learned at the garden have inspired her to try new projects at home with her family. When she’s not tending to her backyard flock of chickens, Serena is also active teaching in her kid’s classes and running hands-on programs for the Fractal Foundation. She is an artist as well, with a love for printmaking and watercolors. 

Karen Bentrup

Technical Advisor Development & Farming Practices
As an avid food grower, contemplative practices student, and longtime educator, Karen brings a wide-angle perspective that envisions a healthy, peaceful, and equitable world for all beings. The DOT Gardens weave together the lifestreams that Karen is passionate about – resilience, sustainability, social justice, food security, and the wonderment and beauty of our shared earth. Karen’s agricultural expertise includes large-scale grain crops; no-till row crop farming systems; urban community gardening; farm-scale fruit and vegetable production; community-supported agriculture and grower’s market sales; fruit tree nursery oversight; greenhouse management; vermicompost systems; bee keeping; poultry flock care and egg production; and, of course, sharing food with friends! “The sun is my heart outside of me.“ Thich Nhat Hanh

Karen Temple-Beamish

Founder & Director 2014 – 2018
M.S. Environmental Science | B.S. Biology
2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching | 2014 EECapacity Community Climate Change Fellow | 2015 NOAA Climate Steward

Karen taught and mentored students at Albuquerque Academy for 19 years. As her mastery for teaching environmental science grew and matured, she was recognized as a leader in her field. She served as the director of the Sustainability Program at Albuquerque Academy and inspired students to be agents of change in their community.