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Justin Birdwell

My USGS research involves a range of energy-related issues, including: assessing undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in U.S. petroleum systems; evaluating geothermal, critical minerals, and energy storage potential in sedimentary basins; examining environmental impacts of energy development; and researching paleoenvironmental conditions using geochemical methods.

Justin Birdwell is a research engineer and geochemist with the USGS Energy Resources Program’s Gulf Coast Geologic Energy Assessments and Research project. As a Mendenhall Post-doctoral Research Fellow he helped refine previous assessments of Green River oil shale resources, conducted experimental work to evaluate in-situ retorting approaches to oil shave development, and studied the environmental impacts of oil shale utilization. His current work is focused on petroleum resource assessments in Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain basins, geochemical characterization of source rocks and petroleum using standard and advanced methods, evaluation of non-petroleum resource potential in petroliferous sedimentary basins, and development of geochemical reference materials.

Justin is the current Chair of the Geological Society of America’s Energy Geology Division (2024), past-president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Energy Minerals Division (EMD; 2021-2022), an Associate Editor of AAPG Bulletin, Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Coal Geology, a representative of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists in the AAPG House of Delegates, and three-time technical program chair for the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section annual meeting (2022-2024).