Update on National Boating Education Standards

The National Boating Education Standards Panel is reviewing public comments for five draft American National Standards:

• Basic Boating Knowledge – Core
• Basic Boating Knowledge – Plus Human-Propelled
• Basic Boating Knowledge – Plus Sailing
• Basic Boating Knowledge – Plus Power
• Basic Boating Knowledge Supplement – Plus Water-jet Propelled

Join members of the Panel for an update on this new proposed approach to Basic Boating Knowledge Standards.

Click here to see the current versions of Draft Basic Boating Knowledge standards under review by the National Boating Education Standards Panel.

Amanda Perez

Director of Education, BoatUS Foundation

Amanda Pérez has been educating recreational boaters with the BoatU.S. Foundation for over 13 years. In her current role as Director of Education, she manages the free online boating safety course, specialized courses, website and other online assets and media as well as the team of developers, designers and project managers who keep those programs running.

Amanda serves on the National Education Standards Panel whose mission is to “Establish and maintain recreational boating education standards to increase safety on our nation’s waterways.” In addition, Amanda also serves on the NASBLA Education and Outreach committee, helping to shape boating safety marketing and education best practices.

A lifelong boater, Amanda has spent nearly her entire career working in the boating industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Towson University and a Master of Arts from St. John’s College.

Jeff Wheeler

Deputy Chief, USCG Office of Boat Forces; Chair, Education Standards Panel

Jeff Wheeler is the deputy chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boat Forces, located at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. The Office of Boat Forces enables mission performance in support of the strategic goals of the Coast Guard, providing human capital and capabilities necessary to effectively operate boats to meet Coast Guard mission requirements.

Wheeler came to the Office of Boat Forces in 2000 while still on active duty, assuming the role of manager, boat crew training and doctrine. In this capacity, he was responsible for the management, oversight and development of the service-wide boat crew training program and boat readiness and standardization program. Wheeler retired from active duty in 2003 and continued to serve the Office of Boat Forces in a civilian capacity. In 2008, he assumed the deputy chief position in which he is responsible for assisting the office chief in the direct supervision, management and strategic development of the Boat Forces program. 
Prior to his assignments within the Office of Boat Forces, Wheeler served at multiple operational field commands throughout the country performing law enforcement, search and rescue, and aids to navigation missions. Wheeler has held numerous operational and boat competencies within the Coast Guard, including Surfman, which have provided him a profound knowledge of boat operations and mission requirements. He attended the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2009.

Wheeler was the recipient of a 2010 Nextgov Award. This is an inaugural program to recognize federal managers who overcame bureaucratic inertia and political resistance to establish innovative processes that improved government operations and citizens’ lives.  

Wheeler won the award for his work with NASBLA in the creation of NASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program. Through this initiative, he established a single standard of training and credentialing of state, county, local and tribal organizations in support of interoperability and force multiplication. 

Pam Dillon

Project Specialist

Pamela Dillon serves as project specialist for the National Boating Education Standards Panel (ESP). In this role, she works to fully articulate NASBLA’s national role in standards development and conformity assessment. Previously, Dillon served as BLA, retiring in 2011 as chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft. During a five-year break in service from the state of Ohio, Dillon served as executive director of the American Canoe Association (2002-2007), working to develop strategic alliances with boating, outdoor recreation, and paddlesport education and conservation programs across the U.S. and Canada. Dillon served two terms as a public member of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council. In 2014 Dillon earned her credential as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from ASAE.