Gary Moberg was born in Alexis, Illinois and raised on the family farm. He earned his BA in Biology from Monmouth College in 1963 and his MS (Behavioral Physiology) and PhD (Neurophysiology) degrees from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In 1967 he married Sydney Baldwin.
After doing post-doctoral research in neuroendocrinology at UC San Francisco, Gary joined the faculty of the Animal Science Department at UC Davis in 1970. He taught Comparative Physiology and Endocrinology courses while doing research on stress responses in farm animals and monkeys, looking at how early life experiences affected individual responses to stress. In the early 1980's, Gary's research broadened to address animal welfare issues. By the 1990's, his laboratory was involved in collaborative research in aquaculture, studying how the endocrine system's response to environmental stresses affects ovulation and the expression of sexual behavior in individual animals.
From 1993 to 1999, Gary served as associate dean for the Division of Animal Biology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He strongly believed in the Center model for advancing interdisciplinary research and established new research Centers focused on dairy science, animal welfare, genetic engineering in large animals, range and forested ecosystems, and aquaculture. He was twice appointed Director of the campus' Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture.
Gary was active nationally as chairman of the board of directors of the USDA's Western Regional Aquaculture Center and was regional administrative advisor for the National Animal Genome Project. He was a member of the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Animal Science, the Endocrine Society, the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and Sigma Xi.
In addition to his professional activities, Gary enjoyed traveling, often bringing back art objects from the places he visited. He had a regular workout habit - jogging and then sharing coffee with friends. He was an avid San Francisco 49'ers fan and for many years ran the play clock at UC Davis Aggie football games.
At memorial services shortly after his untimely death, colleagues and former and present students spoke about their relationships with Gary, of his sense of humor, and of his honor.