2020 Western Region Educator of the Year Award Winner
Aaron Meier, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), has been named the 2020 Western Region Educator of the Year.
Since taking over the boating education program, Meier has completely changed the way that the state of Nevada promotes boating safety and education. Meier was aware of the financial difficulties associated with advertising and promotion in entertainment cities such as Las Vegas and Reno. For this reason, Meier has refocused NDOW’s efforts into almost entirely digital campaigns and connected television, such as streaming on Hulu, Sling and Amazon Prime.
His efforts led to a 13% increase in the number of boater education certificates awarded in 2019. Over the past two years, Nevada has seen an incredible 33% increase in the number of boater education certificates awarded to recreational boaters. This is a sizeable increase in the department’s reach and boater education impact.
This past year, Meier reached out to the paddlesports community in Nevada to help develop more effective paddlesport-specific messaging and resources. After engaging the community, Meier designed a new paddlesport-specific web page for the NDOW website. This page includes resources such as a free online paddlesports safety course, paddling tips and more.
Meier has also been working with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to implement what would be Nevada’s first paddlesports education program which will include an on-water component. Meier led a coordinated effort to put several NDOW members through Arizona’s paddlesports class in November and is exploring a trainer-level class for specific NDOW staff with the goal of launching a similar program in Nevada this summer.
On the media front, Meier helps to promote boating safety through local media contacts, press releases and social media posts. Meier also hosts boating safety media days on both Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe. These events are extremely well-attended by the local media outlets. Additionally, Meier and his staff are featured in dozens of television and radio interviews, as well as interviews for various podcasts, promoting safe boating throughout the spring and summer months.
Meier is also a member of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrator’s (NASBLA) Education and Outreach Committee. Meier works on various charges focusing on the New Life Jacket Labeling, Education Dashboard and the Advancement of National Campaigns.
Nevada’s boater education program is in its current state of excellence due to Aaron Meier’s consistent efforts and dedication to boating safety. He is constantly looking for new ways to expand and improve the education program and goes above and beyond in his daily efforts. Meier is truly an incredible asset to the Nevada Department of Wildlife and they look forward to what he will continue to do for the recreational boating community. Congratulations Aaron Meier!
Generously sponsored by Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. We offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, we affect the lives of over 76 million American boaters.