Barry Brennan
Barry Brennan

Barry Brennan, who had a long and illustrious career in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, passed away at home in the early morning hours on January 27. Supportive of colleagues and a leader in CTAHR, Brennan was a great mentor for many.

Brennan came to Hawaiʻi in 1967 after graduating with his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. He studied in the entomology department (now part of the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences), earning his master’s degree in 1969 and PhD in 1975. He served as UH’s pesticide coordinator and pesticide applicator training coordinator from 1976 to 2001.

Brennan with his grandson.

During much of this period, Brennan was a member of, and even chaired, the Department of Environmental Biochemistry. He took a leave from August 1997 to January 1999 to work in Washington, D.C., as associate national program leader for pesticide applicator training for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He led the formation of a new national organization, the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, which represents state extension and regulatory personnel at state and federal levels. He served as lead P.I. for the Western Region IPM Center American Pacific Pest Management Information Program in 2001, and as CTAHR associate dean for cooperative extension for three years prior to his retirement in 2004.

In retirement, Brennan remained active in the college as an emeritus faculty. He helped form the American Pacific Pest Management Information Network, which allowed stakeholders to respond to federal regulations that affect the use of pesticides. This effort had a major impact on ultra-minor crop production in the Pacific region. In 2002, he took a lead in the Western Plant Diagnostic Network and was instrumental in establishing Hawaiʻi as a satellite diagnostic laboratory for the Pacific region.

Brennan also served as the lead editor of the book, Hawaiʻi’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources: Celebrating the First 100 Years. He and his wife, Barbara, endowed a fund within the UH Foundation to support the agrosecurity program. Many organizations have recognized Brennan’s contributions. He received the Presidents’ Award from the American Association of Pesticide Safety Education for his years of dedication to pesticide safety education in 2018. In 2019, he was recognized as the CTAHR Outstanding Alumnus.

As a colleague, he took pride in his work. He was known as a hardworking person and came to work regularly after his retirement, devoting his time to ensure the college’s sustainability for as long as he could contribute.

Brennan is survived by his wife Barbara, son Brian and daughter-in-law Aileen, daughter Kathleen, and grandsons Kainoa and Kenji. Messages of aloha may be sent to Barbara Brennan at