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Barbara A. Bekins, PhD

I study biodegradation of groundwater contaminants.  Presently I serve as research coordinator of a team studying a 1979 crude oil spill at the USGS study site near Bemidji, Minnesota.  Studies at the site include the fate and bioeffects of oxyhdrocarbons formed during natural attenuation, controls on degradation rates, and use of biogenic heat to estimate degradation


University of California, Santa Cruz, Ph.D., 1993, Hydrogeology

San Jose State University, M.S., 1988, Mathematics

University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1975, Mathematics


1990-present:  Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division

2006-2008      Instructor, Stanford University, Solute Transport in Groundwater

1988-1993:     Researcher and Instructor, University of California, Santa Cruz.

1979-1987:     Computer Specialist, U. S. Geological Survey, Seismology Branch.

Project chief, system administrator and UNIX consultant for computer facilities monitoring earthquakes in real time.

1977-1978:     Research Assistant, Stanford University Geophysics Department.

1976-1977:     Mathematics Lab Director, Canada Community College.

1975-1976:     Scientific Programmer, SRI International.


Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2020

AGU Fellow, 2019

GSA Fellow, 2005

GSA Hydrogeology Division Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer, 2003-2004

U.S. Geological Survey Meritorious Service Award, 2004

JOI/USSAC Distinguished Lecturer, 2002-2003

ARCS Foundation Fellowship, 1989-1990

University of California Regents’ Fellowship, 1988-1989

B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa


Exp. 366, Mariana Serpentine Mud Volcanoes, 12/2016-2/2017, Downhole Tools and Phys. Props.

Science Planning Committee, 2004-2007.

Leg 201, Peru Deep Biosphere, 1/2002-4/2002, Downhole Tools and Phys. Props.

U.S. Science Advisory Committee, 2000-2003.

Science Steering and Evaluation Panel, Earth's Environment, 1997-2000.

Leg 171A, Logging While Drilling, 12/1996-1/1997, Hydrologist.

Sedimentary and Geochemical Processes Panel, 1994-1996.


AGU Program Committee, 2013-2016

AGU Groundwater Technical Committee, Chair 2009-2010

National Research Council Panel on Intrinsic Remediation, 1997-2000.


Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation 2021-present.

Geofluids, 2007-2017.

Hydrogeology Journal, 1997-2000.

Ground Water, 1998-2003.

Geology, 1995-1998.