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In memoriam: Duncan McMartin

Duncan McMartin, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist emeritus in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, died Jan. 14. The following obituary was provided by his daughter Shona Hilton.

Duncan McMartin
Duncan Alexander McMartin passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 14, 2017, from complications following routine surgery.

Duncan was born on March 30, 1932, to Alistair and Jean McMartin, at East Lodge on the Rannoch Estate at the west end of Loch Rannoch, Scotland, where his father was head gamekeeper. Duncan, along with his siblings Betty, Jessie and David, enjoyed a country childhood. Some of his best days were spent out on the moors or loch, hunting and fishing, more often than not with a dog by his side. His stories of growing up in such a wild and beautiful environment during a bygone era have kept friends and family entertained and inspired for many years. 

He attended the tiny primary school Georgetown School at Bridge of Gaur and then Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy. He boarded in the hostel with other remote-living pupils and during the week he continued his fiddle lessons with Miss McGregor. Duncan first began these lessons earlier in Rannoch with John Robertson and playing Scottish fiddle music became a lifelong passion for him.

After leaving school, he spent two years in the Army doing his National Service.

In 1957, he graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Following this he was employed as assistant specialist in the Experiment Station at UC Davis and received his doctorate in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis in 1961.

During these years in Davis he met and married his loving wife of nearly 50 years, Hyla Tinklepaugh, who passed away in 2007. The couple soon moved back to Scotland where he worked for the British Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Laboratory at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, becoming Head of Microbiology there. For his outstanding work on eradication of M. gallisepticum from commercial poultry in Britain, he was awarded the Hall Gold Medal by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, London in 1969.

During this time Duncan and Hyla raised four children  - Christina, Duncan, John and Shona - at their home in the small village of Edgehead, Midlothian. Here he enjoyed the idyllic life of a small country village with many great friends and neighbors. He was active in the local community and had great times and memories of local social events and gatherings. 

In 1980, Duncan was appointed as a Cooperative Extension specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis and he and his family immigrated to the U.S. His career was focused on the impact of diseases on large and small commercial flocks of layers and broilers, but he also had interests in pet and exotic birds. Duncan considered it his privilege to travel throughout California liaising with individual farmers, practicing veterinarians, and poultry companies and applying the latest scientific research and knowledge to the health and welfare challenges facing the agricultural community. He developed a dynamic applied research program aimed at eradicating and controlling bacterial and viral diseases that confronted the poultry industry. His research and leadership contributions to avian health and food safety were recognized both nationally and internationally with numerous invitations to speak at professional conferences along with providing his expertise to state and federal regulatory/governmental agencies. Additionally, Duncan enthusiastically and readily shared his knowledge about poultry care and health with his colleagues, veterinary residents, college students and many young people. He retired from UC Davis in 1993.

Duncan was well-known and loved, especially within the Scottish community in California. An accomplished fiddle-player and Gaelic speaker, he brought joy to people as he shared his love of Scottish music and culture, often with a wee dram in hand. He was a long time member of the Caledonian Club of San Francisco and a founding member of the Dixon Scottish Cultural Association in which he participated in many activities. He was involved in helping with the sheepdog trials and fiddling, and was well known for his dramatic and inspirational rendition of Burns' “Address to the Haggis.” He had an amazing memory and often regaled others with music, songs, and his vast historical knowledge. Duncan was also known for his kindness, wit and humble nature; he always saw the best in others and went out of his way to be there for family and friends around him and he will be greatly missed.

Duncan is survived by his sons Duncan and John, daughters Shona and Christina, sister Betty, grandchildren Laura, Andrew, Lex and Jake, and will also be lovingly remembered by many extended family members and friends.

There will be no immediate service, but a celebration of his life will be held this summer in Davis and a service will be held in Scotland. Both will be announced in due time. Although he lived in his adopted home of Davis for many years, his heart was always back in Scotland. His family will be returning him home to Rannoch, along with Hyla, to be buried there.

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:18 PM
Tags: Duncan McMartin (1), Poultry (4)

UC launches People Management Series and Certificate Program

UC ANR Human Resources is preparing to launch the 2017 UC Systemwide People Management Series and Certificate Program. The program is for all people managers who want to build on their baseline supervisory skills. The course list includes 10 core and four electives covering performance management, managing people, administrative & operations, change management and communications. The courses are available online through our Learning Management System.

You can complete the certification program either as part of a facilitated group or an individual, self-directed basis. The group approach will include monthly peer networking calls facilitated by Human Resources.

In addition to receiving a certificate of completion, successful participants will be eligible to attend the UC Systemwide People Management Conference to be held in the summer of 2018. The conference brings together leaders from across the UC system to collaborate, learn about current topics, share best practices and continue their learning on relevant leadership topics.

If you are interested in participating, please complete the following brief survey by Feb. 10 so we can send you program details and logistics:

If you have any questions in the interim, please contact Jodi Azulai at or Mary Roberts at

See additional information and an introduction video at

Posted on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 1:38 PM

ANR invites proposals for competitive grants, introduces new grant opportunities

Wendy Powers, associate vice president, announced the request for proposals for ANR's 2017 competitive grants program, which can be found at

In addition to releasing ANR's competitive grants call, she shared information on a couple of newly developed funding opportunities: “high risk/high reward grants program” and “opportunity grants program.” Below are descriptions of the three different funding mechanisms.

ANR Competitive Grants Program

The purpose of the ANR competitive grants program is to address high-priority issue areas identified by at least one of the strategic initiatives: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystems (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (Water).

ANR Competitive Grants Program 2017 Cycle:

  • Application submission cycle
    • Letter of Intent (LOI) due March 20
    • LOI decisions April 26
    • Full proposals due June 19
  • Technical peer review: mid-June to early September 2017
  • Strategic Initiative review and recommendations: end of September 2017
  • Program Council review and recommendations: October/November 2017
  • Announcement of funded grants: November/December 2017

Through this program, ANR will continue to invest in short-term, high-impact research, education and outreach projects that address high-priority issues that are consistent with the Strategic Vision, encourage collaboration among academics from diverse disciplines and across initiatives, strengthen the research-extension network and demonstrate relevance and likelihood of impact on significant agricultural, economic, environmental and social issues in California and beyond.

For questions about ANR's competitive grants program, please contact Melanie Caruso at

High Risk/High Reward Grants Program

Given the complexity of societal problems, high risk research is necessary to achieve gains for real progress in addressing present and emerging challenges. This program will provide funds to initiate and complete research and proof-of-concept efforts that serve as the basis for larger funding opportunities. These projects must be of a high risk/high reward nature that are best conducted in a controlled, research setting and, if successful, lend themselves to subsequent larger funding opportunities and/or intellectual property development.

Proposed projects must be within the scope of the ANR Strategic Vision. All ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted using the same timeline as outlined for the traditional competitive grants program, but reviewed separately due to the nature of the proposal.

High risk/high reward grants will be limited to no more than $100,000 per project. Proposal format and duration is available at

For questions about the High Risk/High Reward grants program, please contact Melanie Caruso at

ANR Opportunity Grants Program

This opportunity grants program will provide small amounts of resources to initiate and complete critical short-term research, outreach or training efforts. These projects must be time-sensitive in nature and take advantage of a unique opportunity where a small pilot project to collect initial data or an immediate, crucial outreach effort must take place in a timely manner to address an issue of importance.

Proposed projects must be within the scope of the ANR Strategic Vision. All ANR academics with PI status are eligible to apply. Proposals will be accepted at any time, as the opportunities arise. Proposals will be submitted to the Associate Vice President and reviewed by the ANR Strategic Initiative Leaders and two ANR Vice Provosts.

“Because we recognize that these are time-sensitive projects, the review process will take no more than one month,” Powers said.

Proposals will be no more than three pages in length and must include a justification indicating why it is critical that this project be addressed in a short timeframe, description of the project (study design, educational framework/audience, training program, etc.) and detailed budget. Opportunity grants will be limited to no more than $10,000 per project. All projects, including the final report, must be completed within 12 months of initiation. Furthermore, no extensions will be allowed. All projects will require a final report with stated outcomes/impacts or anticipated outcomes/impacts.

ANR will provide a limited pool of funds for this grants program on an annual basis. The exact amount will be determined and announced annually based upon resource availability. The pool of funding will be managed to ensure that some resources are available year-round for timely projects.

For questions about opportunity grants, please contact AVP Wendy Powers at

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 1:53 PM

ANR embarks on development of action plans for five-year Strategic Plan

Dear Colleagues,

In August 2016, President Napolitano requested a five-year strategic plan for UC ANR by December 2016. To meet that ambitious deadline, the Senior Leadership Team worked closely with the strategic planning resources at UCOP and UC ANR to guide us through a rigorous process. We enlisted the assistance of representatives of programs and administrative units and drew upon strategic plans that already existed within the statewide programs, strategic initiatives, research and extension centers and budget plans. We also consulted UC ANR advisory groups and committees. When I presented our draft plan to President Napolitano in November, she was clearly pleased with its goals and key strategies for achieving them. The final plan was submitted to the President in late December.

I am now very excited to share the strategic plan with you; it is available at This plan will guide us in a thoughtful and timely manner as we “operationalize” our Strategic Vision 2025. As you read through the strategic plan, please think about how your work aligns with the goals in the plan. I consider this to be a living document that we will modify, add to, and improve upon over time, so your feedback is not only welcome, it's vital.

The five-year plan calls for an estimated $54 million in one-time new costs, including approximately $40 million for capital investments in UC ANR facilities and system infrastructure. To fund the one-time costs, we will finance debt, expand our fundraising capacity and deploy some of our reserves. Ongoing annual costs for the five-year plan are estimated at $6.5 million and will be funded from projected revenue increases of $12 million, which will leave us an estimated annual net operating increase of $5.5 million.

Strategic Plan cover slide
The plan defines 15 goals to enhance UC ANR's research and extension mission, support employees and volunteers, address financial stability and administrative excellence, and increase awareness of UC ANR's value. As you can see on page 30 of the attached plan, each goal has been assigned an “owner,” who will be responsible for overseeing our progress toward its attainment. Our next step is to develop specific action plans with point people, metrics and target dates to reach our goals.

To move the strategic plan from paper to action, I have invited 22 people representing campuses, counties, research and extension centers, administrative units and more to meet at the end of this month. At the two-day meeting, we will begin developing action plans to achieve the 15 goals in the strategic plan. We will also explore how best to engage all UC ANR members in this process because everyone's contribution is critical to the UC ANR mission.

As we map out the paths to our goals, we will be soliciting feedback and engaging different people within UC ANR and external stakeholders. We will keep you apprised of our progress via ANR Update, social media, our website and other reporting. In addition to those regular communications venues, Wendy Powers, associate vice president, will provide informal updates through a new blog she recently launched at

You can offer feedback and collaboration via our many workgroups, advisory committees and public forums, or by sending a comment here.

By identifying and taking specific steps that lead to our goals, we will successfully achieve our Strategic Vision. If you have comments or suggestions for this process, I would love to hear from you. Please submit them to me using this link

Best regards,

Glenda Humiston
Vice President

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Strategic plan takes center stage

VP Glenda Humiston presented the ANR strategic plan during a town hall on Jan. 18.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from AVP Wendy Power's new blog “ANR Adventures.” For news about the recruitment process for the Vice Provost – Statewide Programs and Strategic Initiatives and Vice Provost – Cooperative Extension positions, read her blog at

Wednesday (Jan. 18) was the Town Hall meeting to provide an overview of the UC ANR strategic plan and answer any questions. At one point, 177 participants joined the conversation via Zoom and approximately 50 of us were in the UC ANR building in Davis.

VP Glenda Humiston provided overviews of the goal of the strategic plan, the process used to gather input and the resulting goals in the plan. The remaining 45 minutes or so of the hour-long meeting was focused on questions.

Several questions were related to fundraising (plans and strategies to raise funds, intended uses of the funds). Other questions were around communicating progress on reaching the goals set forth in the plan. This is a great question and one that one of the strategic initiative leaders got me thinking about late last week. Somehow we want to be able to share the division's progress on attaining the goals without getting bogged down with details about where we are in the process. Any suggestions? If you have some, I'd love to hear them! One of the Zoom participants suggested a graphic or visual representation – maybe something like the thermometers that organizations use to show status of fundraising targets? Give this some thought and I will give it some more thought, too.

One of the questions was about the program prioritization process (Goal #5). Like pretty much all of the goals, we don't know what the result of this will look like and haven't formulated a plan to go about gathering information and making any decisions needed to reach this goal. This will be a portion of the agenda for a two-day retreat to take place at the end of the month. As the “goal owner” for Goal #5, I have to admit that I was perfectly comfortable early on in the strategic plan development process to leave this as a strategy under another goal. But I understand and “buy in” now to the idea that this is so important to who we are and the value we bring to California that it makes sense to have this as a stand-alone goal. As I said at the town hall, it is a good business practice to review what you do and how you do it. But this is no easy task for such a large organization with so many different programmatic efforts, all of which make a difference in someone's life. And key questions to think about as we undertake the process are what, if any, programming is needed to realize the 2025 Vision and how do those needs align with current efforts? Still a huge task and, as a result, a few of us have met with someone who I think can help all of us work toward answers.

Following development of a draft plan at the retreat, I intend to share the plan with strategic initiative leaders, statewide program and institute directors and county directors, then finalize a process and approach for having these big conversations so that they are inclusive, not overly time-consuming and lead to information that furthers us in our goals. No doubt success will take time and will benefit from the collective brainpower of everyone at UC ANR. I suspect it's one of those things that you get out of it, what you put into it.


Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 2:31 PM
  • Author: Wendy Powers

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