Hi. I’m Jason. I am a historian of the twentieth-century United States, with a focus on digital and computational history, urban environmental politics and policy, and the North American West. I’m the digital engagement librarian at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I lead initiatives in digital engagement and public history. Before joining UNO, I was a member of the research staff at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University, and an academic technology 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.


I am a historian of twentieth-century United States history, with a focus on digital and computational history, urban environmental politics and policy, the North American West, and spatial methods. I am the Digital Engagement Librarian and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I lead initiatives in digital engagement and public history with campus and community partners. I am also affiliated faculty with UNO’s Center for Urban Sustainability and a Researcher with Stanford University’s Spatial History Project. You can read more about my academic work in my vita.

Current Writing

I am currently completing my first book, Suburban by Nature: Silicon Valley and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics, under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press as part of their new Environment in Modern North America series. Few places symbolize the twentieth century like Silicon Valley. Stretching from the communities of San Jose to Palo Alto, the dense suburban region is home to nation’s high tech industrial corridor. In my book, I re-imagine the Silicon Valley’s history not just as symbol of post-industrialism, but as an illustrative of the consequences of the post-war period’s uneven suburban growth in shaping 20th century environmental politics, concerns over social justice, and ideas of sustainability. I complicate the now familiar story of suburbanization’s rapid transformation of post-war American cities by explaining how local activists linked social and environmental issues in creating a new form of politics. In doing so, I help place current debates over sustainability into a deeper historical context and problematize the post-war environmental movement as at once a movement of the white middle class, which gave rise to environmental and social justice movements of the latter half of the 20th century.

I am also working on two additional books. First, I’m working on an edited volume with Rebecca Wingo and Paul Schaudenwald called Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy, which brings together case studies of partnerships between institutions of higher education and community partners to create born-digital projects.

Second, an edited volume with Lindsey Passenger Wieck that brings together the most current writing on the urban history of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. We seek to unite the postwar histories of these two places to create an unprecedented regional history. We seek to reveal not only what binds these specific urban spaces together, but also explore the national patterns that give rise to interconnected urban centers and suburban technological outskirts.


BlogWest was started to provide thoughtful conversation about the history of the North American West. Edited by five historians of the West, we bring our own expertise to the site as well as collaborate with other historians, intellectuals, journalists, and others who write about and think about the West.

Open Data

I am committed to open data advocacy to improve transparency and access to information, from promoting open research practices to open government data. I’m active in communities advancing open research including Mozilla Open Leadership and Data for Democracy. I am project lead and founding member of Endangered Data Week, an annual event to promote a culture of data consciousness by creating training materials, guidelines, and resources to advocate for open data and promote awareness around threats to publicly available data.

Cycling Advocacy

I work on bicycle advocacy projects both on campus and in the Omaha community with amazing partners like Omaha Bikes, the Omaha Bike Network, the League of American Bicyclists, People for Bikes, and Mode Shift Omaha. My work on sustainability at the University of Nebraska at Omaha includes chairing the Triple Bottom Line Committee for UNO Libraries, where we are focused on building a community that is economically sound, environmentally responsible, and socially just.

To keep updated on my work, follow my research, follow me on Twitter or Github, or subscribe to RSS or JSON.

Feel free to email me at jason@jasonheppler.org. If it’s a sensitive email, you can grab my public key for that address. I’m also jaheppler on Keybase.

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