About me

Jason A. Heppler

↳ Photo by Carlos Seligo

Hi! I'm Jason, a web developer by trade and a historian by vocation at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University. I collaborate with faculty and graduate students on the innovative application of technology in teaching and research across interactive data visualization, design, and public and digital history.

You can find my full CV here.

(Need a full bio and headshot?)

Because we live in an era of climate emergency, most of my work is concerned with land, water, and energy, and the history tied up within these: who controlled access to these things; how were these things owned and used; what stories do we tell about places and how does that shape what happened; how the landscape is a record of history and power; how state institutions shape thinking about landscape, nature, and health. In addition to my work in environmental history, I'm also a scholar with expertise in digital mapping, spatial history, statistics, and big-data / machine reading methods for historical research. I was formerly an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, but elected to leave the tenure track for the creative energy and cutting-edge research around RRCHNM. I volunteer my time with the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative's Environmental Historians Action Collaborative, Historian Rebellion, and Historians for Future.

Can we meet for coffee?

I'll make an effort to meet with anyone who reaches out, but in advance: I won't tweet about your project, you can't use me in your marketing, and I'm not investing in anything. All I have on offer is to listen to your story and offer advice if I have any to give.

You can write great emails by following this advice from Jason Freedman:

If you want a meeting, ask for a meeting. Provide some time options and ask for a specified length. If you want an introduction, ask for an introduction. If you're looking for funding, tell him you're currently fundraising and ask to meet to show him your pitch. Don't be sly. Don't hint. Make the process ridiculously easy by just asking for what you want.

Please feel free to contact me:


Twitter ➝ @jaheppler
Micro.blog ➝ @jaheppler
Observable ➝ @hepplerj
GitHub ➝ @hepplerj

Subscribe to Breve, my occasional newsletter on design, creativity, and human knowledge.


I take your privacy seriously. I have installed a local analytics package called Matomo, which interprets information your browser already sends (like IP address, screen resolution, browser, and operating system.) This information is regularly flushed, kept anonymous, and password-protected. I take precautions to ensure no one else sees this information, either. If you're running Do Not Track on your browser, Matomo won't track you.

If you email me something I keep that anonymous, especially when sent encrypted. If I decide I would like to quote something from your email, I will ask you first. If you've emailed me about something I got wrong, I may use your name to credit the correction but I won't if it's not public information. Here's my public key.


This website is built with Hugo. This site is ad-free and doesn't use trackers. If you'd like to support my writing, I'd love it if you could buy me a coffee.

Organizations I’ve worked with

Environmental Data and Governance Initiative

Mozilla Foundation

American Historical Association

Western History Association

Humanities+Design, Stanford University

Spatial History Project, Stanford University

Mode Shift Omaha

Endangered Data Week

Data Visualization Society

Center for Digital Research in the Humanities

University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries

NMAAHC, Smithsonian Institute

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library