Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies
James Cook University (JCU), named after the explorer Captain James Cook, has two campuses located in NE Australia. The larger campus in Townsville has approximately 11,000 students; the Cairns campus has about 3,000 students. As Australia's first tropical university, JCU has dedicated much of its research activities to areas relevant to life in the tropics, such as aboriginal studies, tropical medicine, tropical environmental studies, and Asian Studies. Its Department of Marine Biology is world famous. In addition, the University has pioneered a higher education center for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
James Cook University's main campus is located 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city center of Townsville, Queensland, which is the largest city in northern Queensland. It is the business, cultural, educational, administrative and industrial center for the North Queensland region and has a diverse economy based on manufacturing, industry, tourism and transportation.
It is a major distribution center for imports and exports with trade links with Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Rim and southeast Asia. Townsville is also the home of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. The Townsville campus is particularly appropriate for students interested in marine biology.
Many JCU subjects offered in Townsville are also offered on the Cairns campus (with the exception of marine biology). Cairns, in a tropical rainforest 4 hours north of Townsville, is a center for outdoor activities and a tourist destination for Australians and international travelers. The Cairns campus, close to the size of St. Lawrence University, is particularly appropriate for tropical ecology studies.