NCEAS' Matt Jones Convenes Plenary Discussion at ESIP Conference

Video now available (session starts at 16:20)


NCEAS’ Matt Jones Convenes Plenary Discussion, "Envisioning a Software Institute to Accelerate Environmental Science", at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Conference. The Software Institutes for Sustained Innovation (S2I2) program, created by the National Science Foundation, is planning a new institute that can accelerate science and engineering through advances in software.  Matt Jones, NCEAS' Director of Informatics, and PI of the "Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES)" planning effort, has convened three environmentally-related software planning initiatives to present and discuss their Institute visions at the annual conference of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP).

Three panelists, representing ISEES, WSSI, and ELTR, will present their visions and strategic plans for the role of a software institute in enabling science. A moderated discussion with the ESIP community will follow to solicit feedback about these alternative visions and assess the roles and functions that are most important for a software institute in the earth and environmental sciences.


Plenary Title:      Envisioning a software institute to accelerate environmental science
                              Wednesday, July 10 at 9:00 am
                              University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Moderator:        Matthew B. Jones, NCEAS and ISEES


Panelists:           Peter Fox, ISEES, (
                              Stan Ahalt, WSSI (
                              Bryan Heidorn, ELTR (



Scientific advances ranging from modeling climate change to the sequencing of the human genome are now possible with the massive improvements in the capabilities of computers to process data through software. This pivotal role of software in science is broadly acknowledged, but systematically undervalued through minimal investments in maintenance and innovation.  

We envision a software institute that enables the scientific community to create, use, and maintain software, and proactively address problems of code complexity, openness, reproducibility, and accessibility.  Simultaneously, the institute would also address the need to develop new skills and practices in software engineering as a core competency in our earth science disciplines starting with undergraduate and graduate education and extending into university and agency professional positions.

Video now available (session starts at 16:20)




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Posted on July 10, 2013