Niegel is from Makawao, Maui and currently lives in Wahiawa. Niegel completed his B.S. at UH-Mānoa with a focus on coastal ecology and coral disease. He earned his Masters in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning with focus in community + environmental planning.
Previously he worked as a bio-lab tech, scientific diver, relocation liaison/ tetris champion, natural resource management intern at Kamehameha Schools, fisher-person, and graduate research assistant with Hui ʻĀina Momona at UH-Mānoa. He and his wife Ali have been blessed with a growing family that includes three boys and a girl. Their ʻohana enjoys walking the beach, fishing, surfing and staring at the ocean. Niegel has been with KUA since 2019.