Dept of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (EIT)
200 University Ave. W
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567
Jim Barker's research focuses on groundwater contamination by organic chemicals, especially petroleum hydrocarbons and industrial chemicals.
A faculty member at the University of Waterloo since 1979, he retired in 2010.
During Professor Barker's career, he developed novel clean-up technologies at the Borden Research Aquifer Facilities. He was also involved in research on water quality issues for the development of Canada’s oil sands.
Office: EIT 2023
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 32103
- Groundwater contamination and sub-surface migration of organic and petroleum chemicals
- Water quality issues involving Canada's oil sands
Professor Barker's research has highlighted the groundwater behaviour of gasoline-additives, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethanol. His research has been aimed at evaluating what influence ethanol in gasoline will have on:
- the distribution of gasoline residuals when ethanol fuels are spilled into gasoline residuals;
- migration and natural attenuation of ethanol and aromatic hydrocarbon;
- and in situ bioremediation of aromatics and ethanol.
Professor Barker has served on Suncor Energy’s oil sands Mining Development and Reclamation Review Board where he provided review and advice, especially for water challenges to Suncor’s oil sand mining operations near Ft. McMurray, AB.
He has also been involved in international collaborative research projects in Iran, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, mostly dealing with groundwater contaminated by industrial chemicals.
Among other awards, Professor Barker was honoured with the 2014 Robert N. Farvolden Award for his work.
Professor Barker has published more than 85 peer-reviewed publications. Recent articles include
- Kanwartej S. Sra, Neil R. Thomson and Jim F. Barker, 2010 Persistence of Persulfate in Uncontaminated Aquifer Materials. Environmental Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es903480k.
- Forsey, S., Thomson, N., Barker, J., 2009. Oxidation kinetics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by permanganate. Chemosphere.
- Freitas, J.G., B. Fletcher, R. Aravena and J.F. Barker. 2009. Methane production and isotopic fingerprinting in ethanol fuel contaminated sites. Ground Water.
- Yasuda, N., Thomson, N. R., Barker, J. F., 2009. Performance evaluation of a tailings pond seepage collection system. Can. Geotech. J.
- Lambert, J.M., Yang, T., Thomson, N.R. and Barker, J.F., 2009. Pulsed biosparging of a residual fuel source emplaced at CFB Borden. International Journal of Soil, Sediment and Water.
- Ferguson, G. P., Rudolph, D. L., Barker, J. F., 2009. Hydrodynamics of a large oil sands tailings impoundment and related environmental implications. Can. Geotech. Jour.
Professional Associations and Service
- Geological Association of Canada
- The Canadian Geotechnical Society
- The International Association of Hydrogeologists (Canadian Chapter)
- The National Ground Water Association (U.S.)
- Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
August 18, 2014 Jim Barker wins the 2014 Robert N. Farvolden Award