Dennis N. Marple

Dennis N. Marple

Dennis Neil Marple was appointed head of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University in October, 1992, with administrative responsibilities for instruction, research and extension programs that support the swine, beef, dairy, sheep, horse and poultry industries. He resigned that position March 26, 2001.

Dr. Marple, a native of Nemaha, Iowa, received his B.S. degree at Iowa State University in 1967, the M.S. degree from Iowa State in 1968, and a Ph.D. degree from Purdue in 1971 with emphasis on Meat Science and Environmental Physiology. Two years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed, where he conducted post-doctoral studies on animal physiology and meat quality.

Dr. Marple joined the faculty of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Auburn University in 1973 where he was involved in teaching and research activities until being appointed Head of the Department in 1989. He taught courses in animal growth and development, and was involved in research on swine growth and meat quality as well as beef cattle research on shipping fever and fescue toxicity. He was the first recipient of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Southern Section of ASAS, was named Alumni Professor by the Auburn University Alumni Association, and twice received the annual Outstanding Research Award from the Director of the Alabama Experiment Station.

Dr. Marple is past President of American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), a past President of the Southern Section of ASAS, a former member of the Boards of Directors of ASAS and Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), and serves as Treasurer of the Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS). He served as Secretary and Chair of North Central Animal Science Administrators (NCA-6). While an officer of ASAS, he helped place ASAS among the leading scientific societies in publication technology. As Chair of the Publications Committee and a member of Editor's Advisory Operations Committee, he facilitated development of the electronic version of Journal of Animal Science and encouraged acceptance of publications and abstracts via electronic format.

As Head of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University for nine years, Dr. Marple led with vigor and his accomplishments were myriad. Monthly faculty meetings were established. He initiated development of a strategic plan for the department. Eleven faculty members were hired. He organized the faculty into four key discipline groups with master projects developed and established in each area. With great interest Dr. Marple watched the computer world explode beginning in the early Nineties and moved quickly to implement e-mail and network use within the department and established computer support staff for the department. A new undergraduate curriculum was established. Dr. Marple enhanced the Animal Breeding and Genetics group to become a Program of Excellence with national and international prominence. Realizing the importance of communicating with alumni, he established and published a newsletter twice annually.

In 1994, he coordinated a highly successful departmental CSRS review. The Mid-States DRPC, in 1996, was merged with DRPC (Dairy Records Processing Center) at Raleigh, North Carolina, to form the Dairy Records Management System (DRMS) headquartered in Kildee Hall. He coordinated planning and renovation of several facilities, including the Swine Teaching Farm, Bilsland Farm, and Ruminant Nutrition Farm. He served as liaison to the planning committee for the National Swine Research Information Center that opened in 1999.

Two landmark events were celebrated during Dr. Marple's tenure as Department Head. In April 1996, the Department of Animal Science celebrated its first 100 years with appropriate ceremony. He instigated a departmental history to record the many noteworthy events and people in Animal Science at Iowa State, "A Heritage of Leadership" (R. L. Willham). In October 1996, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new state-of-the-art $21-million Kildee Addition. The addition was ceremoniously dedicated in November 1998. He also coordinated establishment of the Ensminger Chair with former Dean of Agriculture David G. Topel as the first Chair.

During his years as Head of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, international travel included Russia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, China and India. Dr. Marple was Co-leader of the Ensminger Ag Tech School in Ukraine in 1996, and Leader of the Ensminger Ag Tech School in China in 1998.

Dr. Marple was elected as a Fellow-Administration to ASAS at the 2000 annual meeting. He was named an Honorary Master Pork Producer by the Iowa Pork Producers Association at the Iowa Pork Congress held in 2000 in Des Moines. He is a member of the Endocrine Society, the American Physiological Society, and the American Society for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of the Agricultural Advisory Committee of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and serves as an ex-officio member on the Boards of Directors of the Iowa Pork Producer's Association and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. He is the author or co-author of 57 journal papers and 73 abstracts of presentations at scientific meetings, and has made invited presentations at numerous professional meetings in the US and seven foreign countries. In 1966, he married Jan Mason, of Early, Iowa. They have two children, Mary Lynne and David.