Lloyd Viel Berkner (February 1, 1905 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – June 4, 1967 in Washington, D.C.) was an American physicist and engineer. He was one of the inventors of the measuring device that since has become standard at ionospheric stations because it measures the height and electron density of the ionosphere. The data obtained in the worldwide net of such instruments  were important for the developing theory of short wave radio propagation to which Berkner himself gave important contributions.
Lloyd Viel Berkner
|Born||February 1, 1905|
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||June 4, 1967 (aged 62)|
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota, B.S. 1927|
|Known for||Proposing the International Geophysical Year for 1957-1958, various work in aeronautics, meteorology and education|
|Awards||William Bowie Medal (1967)|
Later he investigated the development of the Earth's atmosphere. Since he needed data from the whole world, he proposed the International Geophysical Year in 1950. At that time, the IGY was the largest cooperative study of the Earth ever undertaken.
Berkner was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1956. The IGY was carried out by the International Council of Scientific Unions while he was president in 1957-59. He was also a member of the President's Scientific Advisory Committee in 1958 while he was president of Associated Universities Inc.
In 1963, Berkner, with L.C. Marshall, advanced a theory to describe the way in which the atmospheres of the solar system's inner planets had evolved.
Beginning in 1926, as a naval officer, Berkner assisted in the development of radar and navigation systems, naval aircraft electronics engineering, and studies that led to the construction of the Distant Early Warning system, a chain of radar stations designed to give the United States advance warning in the event of a missile attack across the North Pole.
Berkner worked with Dallas community leaders to establish the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest (later renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, which would eventually become The University of Texas at Dallas).
He wrote more than 100 papers and several books, including Rockets and Satellites (1958), Science in Space (1961), and The Scientific Age (1964).
Lloyd V. Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas was named after him in 1969, as was Lloyd V. Berkner Hall at the University of Texas at Dallas. The lunar crater Berkner was named in his honor. Berkner Island in Antarctica was also named for Berkner because of his work as a radio operator on the first Byrd expedition to Antarctica in 1928.
Berkner was married to Lillian Fulks Berkner and had two children.
- Hales, Anton (2009). "Lloyd Viel Berkner". National Academies Press. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- L.V.Berkner and H.W.Wells:Trans.Ass. Terr.Magn.Electr.Bull,No10,340-357 (1937)
- W.R.Piggott and Karl Rawer:"URSI Handbook of Ionogram Interpretation and Reduction", Elsevier,Amsterdam 1961, 192pp
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- Allan A. Needell. Science, Cold War and the American State, Routledge, 2013, ISBN 905702621X
- "Lloyd V. Berkner". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Blue, Jennifer. "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature; Moon Nomenclature: Crater, craters". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved June 16, 2011.