Andy Otto, Executive Director
We are delighted to welcome the Santa Fe Watershed Association’s new Executive Director, Andy Otto. Andy holds a degree in watershed management from the University of Arizona and has spent the last four years working with the Truckee River Watershed Council in California and Nevada. Andy’s experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders—from city and county governments to tribes to individual property owners—to improve the health of that watershed prepares him well for the challenges facing the Santa Fe Watershed. Andy spearheaded the successful campaign to fund and construct a Truckee River Legacy Trail through the length of the Town of Truckee. Along with life experiences that range from living on a Montana cattle ranch to managing a restaurant in Truckee, Andy brings longstanding connections to the Santa Fe community and a passion for working with communities to protect the environments that sustain them. In his free time, he enjoys cross country skiing and fly fishing.
Gabrielle is the most recent member of the team, taking over the role of Adopt the River Coordinator. She’s new to Santa Fe, having lived in New Zealand for the last seven years. She is a half-American, half-Spanish global traveler, who has lived in the USA, Mexico, Spain, Wales, Belgium and New Zealand. She has been in love with nature since an early age, and studied Biology in Spain. She then worked for a while as an Environmental Educator in Mediterranean water conservation. Next stop was Wales, to get a Master’s Degree in Ecology, studying the evolution of pit viper venom. The combination of conservation, genetics and evolution was exciting and she decided to see if a career in research might be for her, so she went on to New Zealand to study Adélie penguin population genetics. She received her PhD and found that in the penguins’ DNA there were signatures of population expansions and decline related to climate change in the Antarctic. As much as she liked research, she wanted her work to have more direct benefits to the community – and she decided to go back to her roots. She is loving Santa Fe and is excited for the opportunity to work with the Santa Fe Watershed Association, promoting river and water conservation.
Keely Kennemore, Volunteer Coordinator
Keely Jackson-Kennemore, is a transplant from the wet, insect-infested southeast to the dry upland deserts of New Mexico. Before moving to Santa Fe, she resided at the base of a mesa in Rowe, NM for 14 years where she worked for several years as a ceramic artist drawing on her previous career as a botanical illustrator for inspiration. Keely holds a BFA degree from Cornell University and has worked as a graphic designer and at a variety of organizations including USC, The Nature Conservancy, and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. She later put her work aside to raise two curious children to fall in love with the Pecos River and surrounding mountains and deserts. In her free time, Keely enjoys exploring the landscape with her dog or on horseback and capturing memories with her photographic eye.
Raquel Baca-Tompson, Administrative Director
After working in corporate Human Resources for over nine years, Raquel put her career on hold to stay at home with her two young children before coming to work for the Santa Fe Watershed Association. In addition to a Human Resources background, Raquel worked as an assistant to the Director of Shidoni Foundry, Inc.; she has an Associate of Applied Science Degree; holds a certification in fitness training; and has volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico. As a native Santa Fean, Raquel remembers growing up with water in the Santa Fe River and holds fond memories of taking off her shoes to play in the river with friends.
Eileen Everett, Education Director
After working in the field of wildlife science, Eileen Everett changed directions and headed down the path of environmental education. Eileen began her career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque after completing a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and an M.S. in Wildlife Science. With her background researching the native Jemez Mountains salamander, her main focus was on Federally listed herpetological (reptiles and amphibians) species. After seeing the need for public outreach, Eileen made the switch to environmental education and began working for Audubon New Mexico in 2004. During her time with Audubon New Mexico, she was promoted to Education Manager and grew the education programs to reach over 4,000 New Mexican youth and created Audubon’s first “no waste camp.” In 2008, she opened up her own environmental education consulting business, Down to Earth Education, and worked for a variety of organizations including the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science developing climate change education programs. Eileen is enthusiastic to be working back in Santa Fe and enjoys providing opportunities for local youth and adults to explore the Santa Fe River and the ecosystems and humans that depend upon it. In her spare time, she enjoys being in the outdoors especially hiking, running, and gardening.
Nina Simone is the newest addition to the office, having left her temporary lodgings at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter on December 6th 2014 to find a new home. Her favorite song is “Don’t let me be misunderstood” by the wonderful human Nina Simone. Her favorite treat is a hot dog. She has been employed as the official SFWA office greeter since the start of 2015. She is paid in cuddles and snacks.