Professor Barth received a B.S. in 1981 and M.S. in 1985 from California State University and a Ph. D. in Geological Sciences in 1989 from the University of Southern California. He joined IUPUI in 1989, and he has served as chair of the Department of Geology and as faculty president of the School of Science. Professor Barth became a Chancellor's Professor at IUPUI in 2012.
Professor Barth is an expert on the geologic evolution of western North America. His field and laboratory studies have led to new models for the formation and later tectonic evolution of continental crust in the western U.S. and northern Mexico. His research interests include the formation and evolution of magma in explosive volcanic systems, and igneous and metamorphic recycling processes which impact models of crustal growth on Earth.
Professor Barth is a member of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, and was elected fellow of the Geological Society in 2010.