Ana Barros

Image of Ana Barros

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor Ana Barros was born in Africa, grew up in Angola and Portugal, and has lived almost all of her adult life in the United States. She attended the Faculty of Engineering of the University of O’Porto where she obtained a summa cum laude Diploma in Civil Engineering with majors in Structures and Hydraulics in 1985, and a M.Sc. degree in Ocean Engineering in 1988 with a thesis focusing on numerical modeling of sediment transport in estuaries and coastal regions. In 1990, Dr. Barros completed and M.Sc. degree in Environmental Science Engineering at the OHSU/OGI School of Science and Engineering. She earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1993. Her graduate studies were supported in part by fellowships from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT/JNICT), and NASA’s Graduate Fellowship program.

Dr. Barros was in the engineering faculty at the University of O’Porto, Penn State University, and Harvard University before joining Duke University in 2004. Her primary research interests are in Hydrology, Hydrometeorology and Environmental Physics with a focus on water-cycle processes in the coupled land-atmosphere-biosphere system particularly in regions of complex terrain, the study of multiscale interface phenomena in complex environments across the Earth Sciences, remote sensing of the environment (precipitation, clouds, soil moisture,and vegetation), climate predictability and risk assessment of natural hazards. Prof. Barros is especially proud of having involved dozens of students in undergraduate research, a great majority of which continued their studies to earn graduate degrees in science and engineering.

Dr. Barros is a member of the National Academies' Climate Research Committee (CRC), and a member of the US National Committee for the International Hydrology Program (IHP) of the UNESCO. The CRC is a standing committee that sits under the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and is responsible for developing, coordinating, and providing oversight for a broad spectrum of climate-related activities across the National Academies. The CRC also functions as the U.S. National Committee for the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and functions as a liaison between WCRP and the US Climate Change Science Program. In the past, Dr. Barros served in the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council, and in several committees of the Water Science and Technology Board and the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. She served as an elected member of the Council of the American Meteorological Society, and serves currently in several committees within the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. Prof. Barros was a member of the NOAA’s Climate and Global Change Program and serves or has served in several working groups at NASA and NSF. Dr. Barros is an active member of several professional organizations including the IEEE, ASCE , AGU, AMS, ASEE, AAAS, EGS and AWRA.

Prof. Barros serves in the editorial boards of the Journal of Hydrology and Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Science, and she is the Chief Editor of the Journal of Hydrometeorology.

Dr. Barros received early career young investigator awards from NSF and NASA in 1995 and 1996. She was a George W. Merck Faculty Fellow at Harvard University 1999-2003, and Packard Fellow nominee from Penn State University. She received the Prize Foundation A. Almeida in Engineering in 1985, and the Lorenz G. Straub Award for her Ph.D. thesis in 1993. Dr. Barros is a a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor
Contact Information:

  • Ph.D. University of Washington, 1993
  • M.S. Oregon Institute of Technology, 1990

Research Interests:

Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation; remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards; computational environmental fluid mechanics and nonlinear dynamics; and the development and application of information technology as a research tool and in the operation of complex engineering systems.


Atmospheric Science
Climate Modeling
Nonlinear Dynamics
Water, Resources and Treatment
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Impacts

Courses Taught:
  • CEE 394: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • CEE 491: Projects in Civil Engineering
  • CEE 684: Physical Hydrology and Hydrometeorology
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 890: Special Readings in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Angulo-Martínez, M; Barros, AP, Measurement uncertainty in rainfall kinetic energy and intensity relationships for soil erosion studies: An evaluation using PARSIVEL disdrometers in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Geomorphology, vol 228 (2015), pp. 28-40 [10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.07.036] [abs].
    • Erlingis, JM; Barros, AP, A Study of the Role of Daytime Land–Atmosphere Interactions on Nocturnal Convective Activity in the Southern Great Plains during CLASIC, Journal of Hydrometeorology, vol 15 no. 5 (2014), pp. 1932-1953 [10.1175/JHM-D-14-0016.1] [abs].
    • Band, LE; McDonnell, JJ; Duncan, JM; Barros, A; Bejan, A; Burt, T; Dietrich, WE; Emanuel, R; Hwang, T; Katul, G; Kim, Y; McGlynn, B; Miles, B; Porporato, A; Scaife, C; Troch, PA, Ecohydrological flow networks in the subsurface, Ecohydrology (2014), pp. n/a-n/a [10.1002/eco.1525] [abs].
    • Lowman, LEL; Barros, AP, Investigating links between climate and orography in the central Andes: Coupling erosion and precipitation using a physical-statistical model, Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, vol 119 no. 6 (2014), pp. 1322-1353 [10.1002/2013JF002940] [abs].
    • Wilson, AM; Barros, AP, An Investigation of Warm Rainfall Microphysics in the Southern Appalachians: Orographic Enhancement via Low-Level Seeder–Feeder Interactions, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, vol 71 no. 5 (2014), pp. 1783-1805 [10.1175/JAS-D-13-0228.1] [abs].
Honors and Awards
    AMS Fellow
  • George W. Merck Faculty Fellowship, Harvard University, 1999
  • NASA New Investigator Award- MTPE, 1996
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 1995
  • Lorenz G. Straub Award, 1993
  • EOS Global Climate Change Fellowship, NASA, 1990/1993
  • Science Program Scholarship, JNICT, 1990/1993
  • Prize Foundation A. Almeida, 1985
Professional and Service Activities
  • NRC, Committee to Assess Flash Flodd Forecasting Capabilities at Sulphur Mountain, CA, 2004-Present
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering Panel, 2004-Present
  • Ad-Hoc NRC-NOAA Committee on Public and Private Partnerships, 2003-Present
  • AMS, Annual Meeting Program Committee, Symposium on Water Scarcity, 2004-2005
  • AGU, GRL Editor Search Committee, 2003-2004
  • NRC, Space Studies Board, 2002-2005
  • European Union Research Commission, Science Selection Panel - FP6, 2003-Present
  • NASA - Precipitation Measurement Mission, Science Panel, 2003
  • Elected Council Member, American Meteorological Society, 2002-2005
  • Cambridge Public Schools - Science Advisory Committee, 2002-Present
  • Scientific Editor, Meteorology and Hydrology, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 2000-Present
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydrology , 2000-Present
  • NOAA-OGP Reanalysis Advisory Panel, 2000-Present
  • NASA - Earth System Satellite Program, Science Selection Panel, 2001-2002
  • Executive Committee, CUASHI, 2001
  • Chair, 7th International Precipitation Conference, 1998-2001
  • Earth Interactions, Editorial Advisory Panel, 1997-Present
  • NOAA, Global and Climate Change Advisory Panel , 1997-Present
  • NRC, USGS Committee on Water Resources, 1996-2001
  • Precipitation Committee, AGU, 1993-Present
  • Hydrology Committee, AMS, 1995-1998, 2000-Present
  • Program Committee - 13th Conference on Hydrology, 77th Annual Meeting AMS, February 1997
  • NASA Global Water and Energy Cycle Initiative Science Plan Working Group, 2001-Present
  • NASA Soil Moisture Working Group, 1999-Present
  • NSF CMS-CAREER Assessment Committee, 1997-1998
  • AWRA Board Pennsylvania, 1994-1996; President, 1995
Professional Society Memberships
  • Portuguese Order of Engineers, 1986 - (Professional Civil Engineer Registration No 20807)
  • American Geophysical Union, 1987
  • Chi Epsilon, 1991
  • American Meteorological Society, 1991
  • European Geophysical Union, 1992
  • American Society for Engineering Education, 1993
  • American Water Resources Association, 1994
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994; Professional Grade Member, 2000
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1997