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Captain Miller J. Tonkel
, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, received a Bachelor of Science Degree miller tonkelin Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1942, and was commissioned into the Corps of Coast and Geodetic Survey (now the NOAA Corps) in 1943. Postgraduate education has included special oceanographic studies at the University of Washington; graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Federal Executive Institute at Charlottesville, Virginia; and participation in the Brookings Institution's Advanced Study Program Conference for Federal Science Executives.

In the field, Captain Tonkel has served with hydrographic and oceanographic operations in waters off the North American continent and in the North Pacific, including the first systematized oceanographic survey of the north central Pacific and underwater atomic tests in the Pacific, and has held ship commands in the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and Alaskan areas. More recently he commanded the NOAA Ship OCEANOGRAPHER, 1970-1971, completing a series of geophysical and physical oceanographic projects sponsored by NOAA's Pacific Oceanographic Laboratory at Seattle. He has also been in charge of geodetic operations in 14 states including Alaska.

Office assignments for Coast and Geodetic Survey, ESSA and now NOAA include District Officer at Baltimore and New York; Assistant to the Chief, Geodesy Division, Washington, D.C.; Chief, Continental Shelf Coordinating Group, Rockville, Maryland; Special Assistant to the Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey/ESSA, Rockville, Maryland; and Associate Director, Office of Hydrography and Oceanography, Coast and Geodetic Survey/ESSA, Rockville, Maryland.

During 1972 Captain Tonkel was assigned as NOAA's first liaison officer in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, serving as Acting Director, Marine Science Affairs Staff under the Special Deputy to the Oceanographer for International and Interagency Affairs, a position designed to assist in providing close working relations between NOAA and the Navy on matters of mutual concern.

Captain Tonkel's most recent assignment has been the Chief, Program Planning, Liaison and Training Division and in the absence of the Director, NOAA Corps, serves as the Acting Director. In this assignment he supervises and monitors training and education of NOAA Corps officers. He prepares NOAA Corps budget and finance plans, and monitors their execution. He also monitors and advises the Director, NOAA Corps, on activities and program liaison between NOAA and the military and other federal groups, of NOAA Corps full-time university education programs, flight training, and other special training.

Captain Tonkel has served with a number of marine-oriented committees and workshop panels both officially and professionally, including membership on the Advisory Committee for Naming Undersea Features, Board of Directors and Vice President, SAME Washington Post. In addition to his membership in Marine Technology Society, Captain Tonkel is a member of the Explorers Club of New York, American Congress of Surveying and Mapping and the American Philatelic Society. He is a Registered Professional Civil Engineering the District of Columbia. Publications include a historical treatise entitled "Navigation in Ocean Survey" which appeared in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation.

During World War II, Captain Tonkel served as Regimental Survey Officer with the 11th Marine Artillery, 1st Marine Division in Okinawa, Tientsin, China, and Guam, 1945-1947 and received the Bronze Star Medal during this period. Other awards include the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, and the Society of American Military Engineers KARO Award, and World War II Medals for Marine Corps Service; the Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific, Navy Occupation, and China Service.

He retires February 27, 1977, after more than 34 years service.


Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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