DAEE and several other Southern California and Northern Baja California organizations were working on environmental issues on their own. They collaborated in a two-year planning process that led to a shared vision: an environmentally literate citizenry working together to improve the quality of life in their communities.
PROBEA is a binational collaboration among US and Mexican partners initially made up of 10 organizations—five from each side of the US/Mexico border, who share the same bio-region, the Tijuana River Watershed.
PROBEA was founded in 1991 by the Daedalus Alliance for Environmental Education (DAEE).
In 1997 DAEE merged with the San Diego Natural History Museum, and PROBEA became the Museum’s binational education program. PROBEA has maintained its original mission and most of its original staff. In addition, PROBEA continues to generate its own funding. PROBEA’s efforts to educate teachers, foster community involvement and increase support of environmental education now enhance the Museum’s mission, as well as its own. PROBEA'S efforts south of the border echo the Museum's efforts in San Diego County.
The Museum's natural history region encompasses the area between Point Conception, just north of Santa Barbara in California, to Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Baja California Sur, all of the Sea of Cortés and out to the deep ocean. It includes the shared Tijuana River Watershed region.
PROBEA designs innovative curriculum and trains educators to motivate teachers, students, and others to participate in projects that benefit their local environment. Education is an effective tool to combat those forces that threaten our environment. With that in mind, PROBEA builds environmental knowledge, awareness, skills and active participation and communication in the citizenry of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora and Sinaloa, in Mexico. Each PROBEA participant is asked to commit to leading his or her audience—students or community members—in a project to benefit the environment. To accomplish its mission and create sustainability, PROBEA establishes partnerships and builds collaborations in each community where it works.
PROBEA tackles its ambitious goals with a unique participatory teaching-learning methodology. The curriculum draws from education theorists who emphasize the importance of hands-on, action-oriented activities that make it possible for us to educate minds, empower hearts and enable hands to benefit the environment. The result is something extraordinary: environmental literacy and behavior change.
PROBEA seeks to support educators with effective techniques to engage students in an active hands-on educational experience. Likewise, we engage community volunteers (promotores) and scientists to learn skills that will enable them to transmit their own knowledge, as well as what they learn in a PROBEA workshop, more effectively. The aim is to promote an “ethic of earth stewardship” that can be passed on to family, friends and ultimately the whole community.
PROBEA's educational programs are extremely effective because the information is relevant to individuals' lives. The activity-based curriculum is engaging for educators and their students and can be immediately implemented in the classroom or the community. This type of hands-on, applied education allows participants to contribute to the rehabilitation and sustainability of their environment. Another important aspect of this program is that it integrates cultures and countries that share a common bio-region and natural resources. School and community members work together for a common goal: the stewardship of their environment.
PROBEA increases its leverage through working with teachers and other adults who, in turn, transfer knowledge to their respective audiences. Educating a class of 30 individuals may change 30 lives and perspectives, but when PROBEA delivers its message to 30 teachers, promotores or scientists, potentially hundreds of lives and entire communities can be changed with one workshop.
PROBEA has held trainings in San Diego, throughout the entire peninsula of Baja California and the Northwestern states of Mexico.
In Baja California, we have delivered trainings in Tijuana, Tecate, Ensenada, Mexicali, Rosarito, San Felipe, Bahía de los Ángeles, and San Quintín. In Baja California Sur, La Paz, San José del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Mulegé, San Bruno, Palo Verde, Guerrero Negro, San Ignacio, and Santa Rosalia have all benefited from at least one PROBEA training. In Sonora, we have facilitated trainings in Guaymas, Empalme, Ciudad Obregón, Tóbari, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco; and in Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
Neighboring communities in harmony with nature through environmental education.