This award was established pricipally through the generosity of his wife, Carol Gubler, and by additional contributions by his many friends and former students.
W. Doug Gubler was born on January 28, 1946, in St. George, UT. He graduated from Southern Utah State College with a B.S. degree in botany in 1970 and received an M.S. degree in plant pathology from the University of Arkansas in 1974. From 1974 to 1982, he was a post-graduate research plant pathologist with Ray Grogan at the University of California, Davis, and during this period, began his studies toward a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology, which he received in 1982, and joined the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, in 1983, as a cooperative extension specialist. He passed away on July 19, 2018 at age 72.
Gubler had one of the most distinguished and robust programs of extension within the University of California system. He was recognized as an international authority on grape diseases. His international stature was illustrated by his travel to over 60 countries to lecture or provide advice on disease problems. He was renowned for his extensive knowledge of the epidemiology, management and control of grapevine fungal diseases, notably powdery mildew, Botrytis bunch rot, and grapevine trunk and canker diseases. With research colleague Dr. Carla Thomas, he developed the Gubler-Thomas Powdery Mildew Risk Index, possibly the most widely used advisory system for management of grapevine powdery mildew in the world. With the late Roger C. Pearson, Gubler co-edited the first edition of the
APS Compendium of Grapevine Diseases and co-edited the second edition of the same compendium with Wayne F. Wilcox.
Gubler was a talented and dedicated mentor of students and young researchers and advisors. Through those he trained and mentored, he left a lasting impact on U.S. and world agriculture. His graduate students won 16 best paper awards for presentations at the APS Pacific Division meetings, and many have gone on to leadership positions at universities, research institutes, in industry, and as professional crop advisors in the US and several other countries.
Gubler’s service to APS was notable. He had been a member since 1974 and served on committees such as the APS Intellectual Property Rights Committee (1999–2000), Graduate Travel Awards (1999), Extension Committee (1996–1999), and New Fungicides/Nematicides Committee (1996–1998). He was especially active in the APS Pacific Division, serving as an elected officer since 1998 and as president of the division in 2007-2008. In 2006, his contributions were acknowledged with the Pacific Division Lifetime Achievement Award for his overall productivity in plant pathology. In addition to the aforementioned awards, he was recognized as an honorary member of PAPA (1992), received the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux De Champagne (1995; France), and was bestowed the Southern Utah University Eccles Foundation Alumni Award (2003). His exceptional record of extending information was recognized in 1998 when he received the APS Extension Award. Gubler’s accomplishments were recognized once more in 2008 when he was made a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Society on its members.