About

Photo by Carlos Seligo

Hi. I’m Jason.

A fourth-generation Westerner born and raised on the plains of South Dakota, I am a Digital Engagement Librarian and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Researcher with Stanford University’s Spatial History Project. I’m a historian of the North American West, with particular interest in industrialization and suburbanization, recreation, twentieth-century politics and political culture, and environmental history. I write here regularly on my blog, contribute to the BlogWest group blog, and co-host the Overanalyze podcast.

My first book, tentatively titled Suburban by Nature: Environmental Politics and the Imagining of Silicon Valley, explores the postwar growth of the cities in Silicon Valley and the ways that their growth not only led to ecological disaster but introduced social inequality that fueled an environmental politic that redefined liberal and conservative politics in the region. While Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies were imagined as a clean and green alternative to industrialization, the growth, manufacturing, and economic activity introduced challenges to the region’s wildlife and its residents. Suburban by Nature looks at how local communities confronted these challenges and offers a case study for other high-tech regions seeking to balance nature and city.

Other things I’m involved with: I serve as a community representative for the Digital Public Library of America, helped plan and host the first annual Endangered Data Week, was a member of the research staff at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University, and a digital humanities specialist at the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University. Before joining Stanford, I was a project manager on the William F. Cody Archive at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.

To keep updated on my work, follow me on Twitter or Github, or subscribe to the blog.