On February 22, 2019, the Mountain Pine Beetle Ecology Program hosted a full-day workshop to showcase and discuss an innovative multi-year project led by Drs. Eliot McIntire and Alex Chubaty to simulate MPB spread in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Together with Drs. Barry Cooke and Dave Andison, we presented work on a new data-science platform called SpaDES and discussed challenges and successes of developing a scalable software framework and tools for tactical and strategic decision making. The team presented a climate-sensitive forecasting model of forest vegetation, insect, and fire dynamics developed to exemplify the spread of mountain pine beetle in the western Canadian boreal forest, and discussed extensions of the model and uses of the SpaDES simulation platform.