Workshop: Advancing Software for Ecological Forecasting

Champaign, IL
March 25-27, 2014


  • David LeBauer, Chair (Univ. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Perry de Valpine (Univ. California, Berkeley)
  • Matthew Smith (Microsoft Research)


Two distinct but overlapping challenges for advancing software for ecological forecasting are: improving model-data fusion and prediction workflows (scientific workflows) and facilitating inter-operability of different statistical engines (inference engines). This workshop aims to bring together scientists and developers working in these different areas to facilitate the development of improved software for ecological forecasting through enabling due-diligence, syntheses, generalization and collaboration. Each group will benefit from sharing ideas and experiences within their respective domains, but also from collaborative between domains. We expect developers of scientific workflows to benefit from knowing the latest inference methods, algorithms and outputs and inference engine developers to benefit from knowing how their engines might interoperate with the different data-types and analytical methods used in scientific workflows.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Working papers on the current state of software tools and key areas for improvement. Likely target journals are Methods in Ecology and Evolution and Frontiers in Ecology and Environmental Management
  2. Future research funding proposals identified (money for research and development)
  3. New community websites featuring available and desired resources identified at the meeting.
  4. New organizational networks.