Nancy Tystad Koupal

Nancy Tystad Koupal is director and editor-in-chief of the Pioneer Girl Project. She received an M.A. in English from Morehead State University in Kentucky and did postgraduate work in American literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She founded the South Dakota Historical Society Press in 1997 and served as its director and editor-in-chief until 2020. She annotated L. Frank Baum’s satirical newspaper column Our Landlady (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996). In 2017, she edited Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Cody Ewert

Cody Ewert has a Ph.D. in history from New York University, and an M.A. and B.A. in history from the University of Montana. His dissertation, “Making Schools American: Patriotism and the Politics of Public Education in the Progressive Era,” explores how rising nationalist sentiment informed progressive school reform efforts in New York, Utah, and Texas around the turn-of-the-twentieth century. His writing has appeared in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and Montana: The Magazine of Western History. He performs research, editing, and writing for the Pioneer Girl Project in addition to his other duties at the South Dakota Historical Society Press, where he began work in October 2018.

Rodger Hartley

Rodger Hartley has a B.A. in linguistics and history from the University of Virginia. He began working for the South Dakota Historical Society Press in 2008. From 2011–2016, he was the chief researcher on the Pioneer Girl Project, working in census data, government documents, land records, county records, newspapers, and other primary sources of the 1870s and 1880s.

Jacob C. Jurss

Jacob C. Jurss holds a Ph.D. in history from Michigan State University and a B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation, “Contested Authority: Indigenous Borderlands of the Western Great Lakes,” centered on Ojibwe, Dakota, and American settler societies in nineteenth-century Wisconsin and Minnesota. He served as an Associate Editor/Researcher onsite during the summer of 2017 and continues to work remotely for the Pioneer Girl Project.

Jennifer McIntyre

Jennifer McIntyre has an M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from Arcadia University and a B.A. in history from the University of South Dakota. She has been the marketing director for the South Dakota Historical Society Press since June 2013. As a researcher for the Pioneer Girl Project, she explores possible illustrations and has spent months examining the newspapers of the Dakota territorial period.

Jeanne Kilen Ode

Jeanne Kilen Ode, who holds a B.A. in both history and English from Augustana College, is acting director of the South Dakota Historical Society Press and managing editor of South Dakota History, the journal of the South Dakota State Historical Society. For the Pioneer Girl Project, she has conducted the research behind the maps that appeared in Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. She also took the lead in researching the early history and natural history of Wilder’s time in Dakota Territory.

Martyn Beeny worked on the Pioneer Girl Project from 2010 to 2012 as marketing director and associate editor.

2 thoughts on “Staff

  1. Thank you for you interest in the Pioneer Girl Project! The South Dakota State Historical Society Press has had to delay publication of Pioneer Girl. We have not yet announced a new release date, but the announcement will come on this blog. Please, check back for the latest information. Pre-orders for the book can be sent to

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