Team Bios

Doretta Winkelman

Binational Education Director and Co-founder of PROBEA
San Diego Natural History Museum (USA)

Doretta Winkelman is Director of Binational Education for the San Diego Natural History Museum. She also serves as the U.S. Executive Director of PROBEA (Proyecto Bioregional de Educación Ambiental), a binational environmental education program that trains Mexican educators using environmental themes with teaching/learning techniques as the delivery method.

Born and raised in Nebraska in a family of farmers who still live and work in the fields, Ms. Winkelman developed a strong connection to the earth and an appreciation of nature. Ms. Winkelman received a Bachelor of Arts in Education at Wayne State College, Nebraska in 1967. Upon graduating from college she joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer and spent two years serving in Venezuela, where she became fluent in Spanish and taught elementary and high school. Ms. Winkelman earned a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with an informal emphasis in Environmental Education, from San Diego State University in 1995. In 1990, Ms. Winkelman, along with two other partners, co-founded the Daedalus Alliance for Environmental Education Foundation (DAEE). The Foundation researched, built relationships, created and initiated multiple programs in Mexico as well as the U.S. In 1997, DAEE merged into the San Diego Natural History Museum to create the Museum's first trans-border education program to advance its binational mission. As the lead administrator for PROBEA, Ms. Winkelman is responsible for program fundraising, fiscal administration, grant management, and the accomplishment of department goals and objectives. She also oversees the design, development, implementation, and administration of environmental education programs within the natural history region, south of Santa Barbara, California to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur (including the Sea of Cortés and out to the deep ocean in the Pacific.) She brings 30+ years of broad-based experience in team leadership, communication, relationship development, and conflict resolution to this binational partnership. 

Karen Levyszpiro

Binational Education Program Manager
San Diego Natural History Museum (USA)

Karen is an experienced educator, administrator, and translator. She has combined her early interests in languages with her inherent teaching ability and her formal education to extend these talents across the spectrum of public and private educational institutions, non-profit organizations and business enterprises for over 25 years. Karen holds a bachelor's degree in education from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional; she has also earned certificates in language education for Spanish and English speakers, and for four years (1998–2001) she owned and operated her own pre-school in Tijuana, Mexico. She integrated the environment into her school curricula through nature field trips, establishing schoolyard gardens, and educating students about our shared Tijuana-San Diego bio-region. She is currently Binational Education Programs Manager at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Her responsibilities include managing the Museum’s binational education program, PROBEA; coordinating teacher trainings and community events; coordinating internal and external communications with the PROBEA team and its clients, as well as supporting curriculum and marketing materials development; translating educational materials, brochures and research papers. She has a profound understanding of cross-cultural relationships and is fluent in Spanish, English and French; she is also a professional translator in those languages. Karen is a member of the Environmental Council for the Californias (EECC).

Chelsea Mulvey Benson

Binational Education Projects Coordinator 
San Diego Natural History Museum (USA)

Chelsea is the Binational Education Project Coordinator for PROBEA. Her responsibilities include preparing logistics for trainings and workshops facilitated throughout the Baja California peninsula, evaluating results from those trainings, helping out with translations and maintaining PROBEA’s Facebook page.

Chelsea graduated from Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama in 2006, with a double major in English Literature and Latin American Studies and a minor in Women's Studies. She studied abroad at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica. After graduating college, Chelsea joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and spent three plus years volunteering as a teacher and guidance counselor in Tacna, Peru. Chelsea is certified in Translation and Interpretation, English/Spanish from UCSD Extension and has a Bilingual Teaching Credential (BCLAD) from SDSU. Chelsea began working with PROBEA in May of 2010.

Judy Ramírez

Trainer, Curriculum Developer and Co-founder of PROBEA
Grasss Roots Educators (USA) 

Judy is Community Outreach Manager for the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Binational Education Department. Judy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and brings over 30 years of experience in the field of education, including bilingual education (English/Spanish), to her current endeavors. Her responsibilities with PROBEA include managing community-based projects, designing and writing curriculum, and facilitating workshops. She is passionate about creating urban habitat through native plant gardens in Baja California. Judy co-authored The Making of a Naturalist (El Joven Naturalista), a bilingual curriculum presenting basic ecology principles and guided field experiences.

Laurie Silvan

Development Advisor and Co-founder of PROBEA
Independent Consultant, Tijuana, Baja California (MEX)

In 1982 Laurie received her degree in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. After working in the field of anthropology in peasant, fishing and mining communities for 10 years in Mexico, she lived for four years in Los Angeles, California, before finally moving to Tijuana. Laurie is founder and was director of Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental from 1991 to 2007. Proyecto Fronterizo is a civil society organization that advocates and facilitates access to environmental information and improved social participation in environmental policy and education in the U.S./Mexico border region. Laurie is also co-founder of several binational initiatives such as the Environmental Education Council of the Californias, the Border Power Plant Working Group and the Binational Tijuana River Watershed Advisory Council of which she is Co-chair since 2003. She sat on the Executive Committee that organized the Bi-annual Meeting on Border Environment (1991–2002) which offered training, networking, and exchange opportunities for environmental NGOs from all along the U.S./Mexico border. Laurie is also the Coordinator for the Environmental Coalition for Access to Information and Transparency of Baja California. She is currently the executive director of Fundación La Puerta, a nonprofit organization providing environmental conservation and education programs and planning in Tecate.

Claudia Schroeder

Project Coordinator and Logistics Supervisor
Tijuana, Baja California (MEX) 

Claudia is Project Coordinator and Logistics Supervisor for the San Diego Natural History Museum’s PROBEA program. Claudia has a degree in Accounting from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) and a certificate in exhibit design from the same institution. Ms. Schroeder was Director of the History Museum at UABC and Development Director also at UABC and has ample experience in fund raising. Her work as Representative of the Baja California State Tourism Secretariat in Mexicali provided Claudia with opportunities to work binationally and in the community connecting officials and citizens to government and non-governmental organizations throughout the northern Baja California region and San Diego. In this position Ms. Schroeder was responsible for promoting tourism in the region and for handling the media, and acquired extensive experience in bicultural, binational relations. 

Luz Macrina

Tijuana, Baja California (MEX)

Luz Macrina studied Biochemical Engineering at the Tijuana Technological Institute and obtained her Master’s Degree in International Relations with a specialty in International Economics and Finance at the Autonomous University of Baja California. She has facilitated teacher training workshops at PROBEA, where she has been trained in different workshops such as, Ocean Oasis, ¿Qué me cuentas de la cuenca? (The Watershed), Creando hábitats en patios escolares (School Yard Habitats), and Quantum Learning. She currently facilitates the latest PROBEA workshop, Nuestro patrimonio natural orgullo de la península de Baja California, in Loreto, San José del Cabo and La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Pia Mijares-Mastretta

Ensenda, Baja California (MEX)

Pia graduated with honors in Biology from UDLA (Universidad de Las Americas, Puebla, Mexico) in 2003. She participated in an exchange program with the Universidad Austral in Chile, with the Science School, where she started a Master’s degree in Plant Biology three years later. She has participated in desert plant courses with the Desert Landscaper School in Phoenix, Arizona, and also has experience studying the native and medicinal plants of Mexico. She even participated in an African Safari Zoo Project, where she worked closely with and trained species of animals like eagles, falcons, toucans, condors and more. She worked with this project to share knowledge with the kids from the community through the Environmental Education Department. Since 1995, Pia has continued working with local communities, primarily in Environmental Education Programs. A few years ago, she was in charge of the PEA (Programa de Educación Ambiental) with the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO in Puerto Peñasco). There she worked with elementary school kids in Peñasco and other coastal communities nearby with wetlands conservation and sustainable fisheries issues. This year, she was trained as a PROBEA instructor for the Our Natural Heritage program and co-facilitated a workshop in January in Tijuana. She is currently working on a project to control pollution in the Gulf of California with Pronatura Noroeste in Ensenada.

Margarita Diaz López

Executive Director, Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental (MEX)
Tijuana, Baja California 

Margarita Díaz began working with Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental (PFEA-Border Environmental Education Project) in 1993 in project design, planning and management. In December 2007 she became Director of the organization.

Margarita’s lifelong love of the ocean and beach has inspired her to devote her professional life to promoting actions that decrease human impact on the coastal environment.

Her experience in project development related to sustainable housing, renewable energy, and pollution prevention has allowed her to implement successful projects with coastal themes. Two examples are “Salvemos la Playa” (“Save the Beach”) carried out in collaboration with NGOs in Tijuana and San Diego and 17 beach clean-up campaigns, involving more than 10,500 volunteers who have collected 40 metric tons of solid waste from the beaches in Tijuana, carried out together with PFEA’s staff.

Ms. Díaz has also actively participated in promoting right-to-know and transparency policies from an environmental perspective, by encouraging people to establish local and national networks around access to information. Margarita is responsible for the “Vigilancia Ciudadana” (Citizens’ Supervisory) program and managed the second Baja California Abierta campaign (March 2008).
From 1999 to 2005, Margarita was part of the Planning Executive Committee of the “Border Environment Meeting”. She was the logistics coordinator for this event, the most important meeting of environmentalists along the US/Mexico border.

Margarita graduated from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City with a degree in Architecture. She is currently an active member of the Environmental Education Council of the Californias (EECC), the Tijuana and Rosarito Playas Limpias Committee, the Municipal Ecology Council, and the International Pacific Marine Educators Network. 

Ana Karina Peláez

Smart Schools Program Manager (MEX) 
La Paz, Baja California Sur 

Ana Karina has a degree in Marine Biology from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur and a specialty in non-profit organization management from the Monterrey Technological Institute.

Ana Karina has more than 15 years of experience as an environmental educator and currently works for Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas del Golfo de California, an agency of the Comisión de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and an instructor of minimum impact camping and fauna of B.C.S. Ana Karina has worked with students of all levels, from preschool to university.

She has conducted several environmental education projects including radio programs, teacher training workshops, and development of educational materials. She currently facilitates the latest PROBEA workshop, Nuestro patrimonio natural orgullo de la península de Baja California, in Loreto, San José del Cabo and La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Ana Karina was born in the region of Los Tuxtlas, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. She has lived in Baja California Sur for the last fifteen years and feels this state has adopted and inspired her to know and share about the wonderful and magical land that lies between the desert and the sea. 

Karla Hernández Domínguez

PROBEA Administrative Assistant (MEX)
La Paz, Baja California Sur

Karla graduated with a degree in International Business from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS). For the last eight years she worked at the Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Islas del Golfo de California La Paz, an agency of CONANP, where she was responsible for managing external resources, fees for rights (2007-2010) and, during the last year, supporting environmental education activities, mainly with event and workshop logistics.

In 2010, Karla participated in several workshops, such as the Conoce tu cuenca workshop facilitated by PROBEA, the professional development workshop on climate change called in Spanish Cambio climático: ciencia, evidencia y acciones, facilitated by SEMARNAT, SEP and the Centro de Capacitación para el Desarrollo Sustentable. 

Karla is convinced that environmental education is one of the most important tools to make people aware of the challenges our environment faces and guide them to action. She is always open to new experiences and to learning something new every day.
Karla is an avid environmentalist who likes to be involved in activities related to plant propagation, composting and native plant gardens. 

Cinthya Graciela García Castro 

PROBEA Logistics Coordinator (MEX)
La Paz, Baja California Sur 

Cinthya from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS) with a degree in Eco-tourism. While she was a student, Cinthya did an internship at Asociación Civil Comunidad Visión y Desarrollo A.C. an NGO in La Paz, and had the opportunity to travel to Venezuela and participate in a Project in collaboration with Liderazgo y Visión A.C.,     a local NGO.

Cinthya has facilitated environmental education workshops to community groups and elementary and middle schools in the city of La Paz, where she was born. She was trained as a PROBEA facilitator for the Nuestro patrimonio natural orgullo sudcaliforniano (Our Natural Heritage, Southern Baja California Pride) and Conoce tu cuenca (Know your watershed) workshops. In June 2010, Cinthya participated as facilitator in the pilot Conoce tu cuenca workshop. She is currently PROBEA’s Project Coordinator in La Paz, and also works for the Registro Agrario Nacional (National Agrarian Registry) in La Paz.

Dolores Monterrubio Alvarez 

Academic Director (1993-2005) and Co-founder of PROBEA
Sistemas Bilingües Especializados (MEX)

Dolores has more than twenty-five years of experience teaching English and Spanish as foreign languages. She has researched, designed, and delivered training programs for teachers since 1986. She is constantly interested in searching and studying innovative teaching-learning methods that acknowledge and develop thinking and language skills and complement personal learning styles. She has enormous empathy, love and respect for teachers, and the passion, dedication, creativity, quality and personal commitment with which she approaches educational projects shows in her work.

Contact Dolores at  and/or