Albert Harrison died unexpectedly in his home on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Born in Fall River, Mass. to Kempton and Ellen Adams Harrison, he lived in Swansea, Mass. until moving to California in 1959. At UC Santa Barbara he earned undergraduate degrees and then went to the University of Michigan. Armed with a Ph.D. in social psychology, Al returned to California and found a home in Davis and the UC Davis psychology department. In addition to teaching, Al held several administrative positions including executive associate dean in L & S, Department chair, and Director of the Internship and Career Center.
In 1978, his career took another turn when NASA contacted him with a request to study psychological requirements of space flight. From that point to the end of his life, his research and writing centered on issues around humans in space, the possibility of extraterrestrial life and the human response to it, and the role of social science in space exploration. His interest in astrobiology led him to travels around the world and extensive writing. Al joined The SETI League, assisted with research projects at the SETI Institute, authored several books on SETI, and served on the SETI Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics. He never stopped learning and never stopped sharing.
It wasn’t always easy to get Al away from the books and the computer because it really wasn’t work to him. However, he did enjoy leisurely travel around the U.S., local excursions, and long weekends along the Mendocino coast. He loved getting together with family, friends, good food, and, most of all, good talk. He was a gentle person who made people feel he heard them and valued them.
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this page last updated 7 March 2015
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