Meteorological Educational Exchanges Between Rival States: Cuba–US and China–Taiwan–US Cooperation

  • Jonathan Spangler
  • Timothy Spangler
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


Meteorology has long played an important role as the subject of educational exchanges not only between countries with friendly relations but also between those whose relations are characterized by tensions or conflict. Meteorological educational exchanges have taken place between national weather services, higher education institutions, and other research organizations throughout the world and have managed to endure where other exchanges would otherwise be difficult or impossible to maintain. This chapter first explores the reasons for meteorology’s capacity to serve as a medium for institutional and people-to-people exchanges, even between rival states or societies. It then focuses on the two major case studies of Cuba–US and China–Taiwan–US meteorological educational exchanges. Each case study highlights the historical context of the exchanges, the reasons that they could take place amid diplomatic and political tensions, the challenges in implementation, and their impacts on people-to-people and institutional relations. These are complemented by firsthand, empirical evidence from personal communications with the institutional leaders, scientists, and educators directly involved in these exchanges. The chapter then concludes with a discussion of the extent to which international cooperation on meteorological education and training between rival states can continue to serve a constructive role in the future.



The authors would like to thank Richard Anthes, Bill Kuo, and Jeff Wilson for their valuable research contributions and insight, without which this chapter would not have been possible. They would also like to acknowledge the many meteorologists and other scientists around the world that have overcome the political and bureaucratic obstacles involved in leading educational exchanges and scientific cooperation initiatives between the people and institutions of rival states.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Spangler
    • 1
  • Timothy Spangler
    • 2
  1. 1.Asia-Pacific Policy Research AssociationTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Director (Ret.), Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology Education and Training (COMET)University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)BoulderUSA

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