About me

Photo by Carlos Seligo

Hi. I'm Jason Heppler. I'm the digital engagement librarian and assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I lead initiatives in digital humanities, data services, and data visualization.

Before joining the University of Nebraska at Omaha, I was an Academic Technology Specialist with the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University Libraries and a member of the research staff at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University. Prior to 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 remain a research affiliate with the Spatial History Project and Humanities + Design at Stanford University.

To keep updated on my work, follow my research, follow me on Twitter or Github, connect with me at LinkedIn, 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.

Current Writing

I am currently completing my 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.

Open Data Advocacy

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 an open 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. If you’d like to get involved, let us know!

Cycling Advocacy and Urban Sustainability

I’m an urban planning and transportation nerd. I work on bicycle advocacy projects both on campus and in the Omaha community with amazing partners like Omaha Bikes, the Omaha Bike Network, 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, and serving as a member of the Sustainability Curriculum Committee. I’m also a member of the Environmental History Action Committee with the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, where we seek to bring historical perspective to present-day environmental debates.

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.


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. I’m also jaheppler on Keybase.

Please email me if you have any questions.


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.

I live in Omaha, Nebraska, with my wife, two kids, and our two dogs, but we dream of settling down in Colorado.