University of Hawaii System newsletter

In Memoriam

Posted on | May 27, 2011 | 2 Comments

Jeff Bitterman, Peter Rappa and Are Hjorungnes headshots

Jeff Bitterman, Peter Rappa and Are Hjorungnes

Mānoa remembers Jeff Bitterman, Peter Rappa and Are Hjorungnes.

Morton Edward “Jeff” Bitterman

Morton Edward “Jeff” Bitterman, a Mānoa professor emeritus in psychology and former director of the Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, died May 10 in San Francisco. He was 90.

Bitterman was an experimental psychologist who was internationally recognized for developing the methodological and theoretical foundations of the comparative analysis of animal behavior. He was honored by the American Psychological Association in 2001 with the D.O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award and received the Ernest R. Hilgard Award for Lifetime Career Contributions to General Psychology in 2004. In addition, he was awarded the UH Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research in l992 and was a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, receiving its Howard Crosby Warren Medal in 1997.

Over a period of 68 years, he published more than 300 papers and served as editor of the American Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Animal Learning and Behavior and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. Read more.

Peter Joseph Rappa

Peter Joseph Rappa, an extension agent with the Sea Grant program in Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, died on May 9 at the age of 59. Since joining Sea Grant in 1979, his life’s work has been dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the environment, especially Hanauma Bay.

Rappa spent the better part of his adult life as an activist for environmental issues. He helped organize the first statewide Earth Day celebration in Hawaiʻi that remains an annual event, and worked tirelessly to see the Education Center built at the Hanauma Bay nature preserve.

Working with many other environmental groups and causes, Rappa was well recognized for his contributions by organizations and his peers. The Conservation Council of Hawaiʻi presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2010 the Department of Urban and Regional Planning named him Planner of Year. He also received the Chair’s Special Award for his work with the National Sea Grant organization. Read more.

Are Hjorungnes

Mānoa’s College of Engineering visiting professor Are Hjorungnes died from injuries suffered from an accidental fall while on a run with the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team in Mokulēʻia on May 14.

Hjorungnes, a professor from the University of Oslo, Norway, was conducting research on signal processing and communications and has written books on complex matrix derivatives. His sabbatical at Mānoa began in June 2010 and was scheduled to end this July. Read more.