No one knows Montana hot springs quite like Jeff Birkby. With an educational background in biology, plant ecology and energy, environment and sustainable development, Birkby has been able to cultivate a career within the geothermal sector.
His professional passion for thermal waters began over 25 years ago, when he began as a geothermal energy specialist for the state of Montana’s energy office.
Ever since, Birkby has traveled, soaked and written about hot springs extensively; he’s also made a business out his expertise. He owns Birkby Consulting LLC, where he consults, writes and lectures on both the history and current use of geothermal energy for electric power generation, space heating and tourism.
Birkby is the author of Geothermal Energy in Montana–A Consumers’ Guide, Touring Montana and Wyoming Hot Springs and Touring Oregon and Washington Hot Springs, as well as a number of articles, journals and guidebooks on hot springs of the western United States. In addition to listing the various hot spring sites, Birkby also provides history, context and science—the reasons why states like Montana and Wyoming have the highest concentration of hot springs in the world. Several of his books are available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Birkby currently lives in Missoula, Montana. Birkby is a past member of the Montana Committee for Humanities Speakers’ Bureau, with experience lecturing across the state on the social history of Montana’s hot springs.
Birkby will be bringing his expertise in the industry to the Hot Springs Connection for the second year in a row, returning as a speaker. His presentation, titled “Geothermal Greenhouses and Microbreweries—Adding Value to your Hot Springs Resort,” will center on how geothermal greenhouses can add value to a hot springs resort.