Building a Science Software Institute: Synthesizing the Lessons Learned from the ISEES and WSSI Software Institute Conceptualization Efforts

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Ray Idaszak1, W. Christopher Lenhardt1, Matthew B. Jones2, Stan Ahalt1, Mark Schildhauer2 and Stephanie E Hampton3, (1)Renaissance Computing Institute, Chapel Hill, NC, United States, (2)National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, (3)Washington State University, Pullman, WA, United States
The NSF, in an effort to support the creation of sustainable science software, funded 16 science software institute conceptualization efforts. The goal of these conceptualization efforts is to explore approaches to creating the institutional, sociological, and physical infrastructures to support sustainable science software. This paper will present the lessons learned from two of these conceptualization efforts, the Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES - and the Water Science Software Institute (WSSI - ISEES is a multi-partner effort led by National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). WSSI, also a multi-partner effort, is led by the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). The two conceptualization efforts have been collaborating due to the complementarity of their approaches and given the potential synergies of their science focus. ISEES and WSSI have engaged in a number of activities to address the challenges of science software such as workshops, hackathons, and coding efforts. More recently, the two institutes have also collaborated on joint activities including training, proposals, and papers. In addition to presenting lessons learned, this paper will synthesize across the two efforts to project a unified vision for a science software institute.