PROBEA enhances the educational experiences of students and the action projects of volunteers through teacher/educator workshops and community events. Since 1993, PROBEA has accomplished the following:

  • 4,566 educators trained by PROBEA
  • 196,885 students taught by educators trained by PROBEA 
  • 2,021 students trained by PROBEA 
  • 407 volunteer community workers (promotores) trained 
  • 1,268 schools/organizations represented 
  • 31,009 participants in community events 
  • 310 projects to benefit the environment (2004–2009) 
  • 21,803 participants in projects (2004–2009)


2011 Award for U.S.—Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation

Letter from Michael W. Hager, Ph.D.
President & CEO
San Diego Natural History Museum

Good news from the USA–Mexico border!

A binational success story that originated here at the San Diego Natural History Museum recently received an international award and the broader recognition that it has long deserved.

I’m pleased to be able to spotlight the achievements of our team of talented educators, led by Doretta Winkelman, Director of Binational Education. This team and their colleagues in Mexico were honored last month for winning one of four newly inaugurated Awards for U.S.-Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation.

These awards go to cross-border activities being undertaken between Mexico and the United States that are having positive results in improving the lives of citizens of both countries. They are sponsored by the Border Research Partnership, made up of three renowned institutions: The Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, the Woodrow Wilson Center Mexico Institute in Washington, D.C., and the North American Center for Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.

Our Proyecto Bio-regional de Educación Ambiental, known familiarly as PROBEA, received international recognition with the award, together with our collaborator of twenty years, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental (PFEA). Both organizations were formally recognized at a ceremony at the Border Governors Conference 2011, which brings together the governors of the 10 U.S.—Mexico border states, along with other stakeholders of both countries. The ceremony, attended by three State Governors of Mexico, as well as the Governor of New Mexico and representatives of other U.S. and Mexico border states, was held in Ensenada, Baja California. Doretta Winkelman accepted the award on behalf of the Museum.

Educators involved in the two-decade-long, two-nation collaboration have trained 4,000 teachers and advocates for environmental education. These teachers have, in turn, reached 150,000 students. The groups’ efforts have led to 20 beach cleanup campaigns that have removed 105 tons of trash. Environmental lessons that children may take home to their families about electricity usage, water conservation, and sustainable practices in general, are another focus, as is the program Smart Schools, which is gaining respect in Mexico’s school system. These are just a few components of the U.S. and Baja California schools’ respectful working relationship.

The Museum is very proud to share this wonderful news from the Environmental Science Education Center (ESEC).Muy bien, PROBEA and congratulations, everyone! 

2008 Angel of the Earth Award

On June 7, 2008 World Environment Day, PROBEA received the first annual Angel of the Earth Award presented by Laura Silván, Executive Director of Fundación La Puerta and Sarah Livia, Szekeley Brightwood, Founder and President of Fundación La Puerta of Tecate, Baja California. The award acknowledged PROBEA’s ten year contribution to Las Piedras Environmental Education Center. From 1998 to 2004 the PROBEA team first brought workshops for teachers to Tecate, and then provided consulting services to guide the Las Piedras staff as they laid the foundation for their program, which now serves all the elementary and middle schools in Tecate. 

2007 SDNHM Outstanding Cultural Achievement Award

2007 SDNHM Latin American Honor Roll

2004 National Association of Interpretation, 2nd Place Media Award for Tijuana River Watershed CD-ROM

2003 US EPA Region 9 Environmental Achievement Award

2001 San Diego Dialogue Civic Excellence Award for Cross-border Collaboration

1998 San Diego Earth Works, Earth Award


Articles and Newsletters

2011 Award for U.S.—Mexico Cross-Border Cooperation and Innovation: article 

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Success Stories article 

The Atlantic, October 25, 2011: Getting it Done: How Civil Society Can Help Secure the U.S.-Mexico Border

The closing paragraph of the story is inspiring and an interesting angle to PROBEA’s work:           

...“And anyone with energy and ideas can participate; local, state and national governments can facilitate and help connect different initiatives in ways that make it possible to develop synergies, distill best practices, and create templates for others to follow. 

It’s government not as negotiator, funder, or imposer, but as enabler, facilitator, connector. We don’t know exactly how or when we will need all these connections and relationships, but in a rapidly changing world of complex systems in which small shifts can produce very big consequences and we need to mobilize every asset we have, they put money in the foreign policy bank. In that sense, the U.S.-Mexican border is a tangible example of the foreign policy frontier.”   

Marine Educator Magazine – 2004 

Love for the Land – October 2003

USFWS, Wildlife Without Borders Summary Report - 2000–2002 

Frontera Norte Sur – June 2001