John Boyer, Senior Instructor,
Office: 121 Major Williams Hall
At Virginia Tech Since: 1998
Education: M.S., Geography, Virginia Tech, 1998







My resume site:
My blog site:
My lectures on iTunes:

John In the News:

Research Interests:

  • Geography of Wine
  • Global Studies
  • Agricultural Geography
  • Educational technology
  • Regional Geography


My teaching philosophy is simple: make it accessible, and make it relevant.

Having achieved these two critical components, I do not have to make my classes interesting or entertaining or funny--that naturally takes care of itself. I am extremely lucky in that the material I teach is basic, yet highly sought after. In terms of approach, this strategy is simple: make the topics and information accessible via all means possible, and make them relevant and meaningful to people’s real lives. My job is actually quite easy because students have a natural tendency to want to learn about the world that is affecting their lives. Once I provide the structure to help them make sense of an unfathomable amount of information—thus, making it accessible—the students connect to it in their own personal lives—making it relevant.

Classes Recently Taught:

  • GEOG 1014 World Regions
  • GEOG 2984 Geography of Wine
  • GEOG 4244: Geography of Europe
  • GEOG Geography of Global Conflict
  • GEOG Geography of East Asia

Recent Publications:


  • Teaching Excellence At A Research-Centered University. Chapter 7 John Boyer Keep It Real: Making Connections to the Real World. Editors E. Scott Geller & Philip K. Lehman 2007 ISBN 0-536-31227-3
  • Tony K. Wolf and John D. Boyer. 2003. "Vineyard Site Selection," Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication Number 463-020, online:
  • Wolf, Tony K. and John D. Boyer. 2000. "Site selection and other vine management principles and practices to minimize the threat of cold injury." Proceedings of the Cold Hardiness Workshop, American Society for Enology and Viticulture Annual Meeting, June, 2000, Seattle, WA, Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 51:(in press).
  • Boyer, J. and T. K. Wolf. 2000. "GIS and GPS aid the exploration of Viticultural Potential" in Virginia Vineyard and Winery Management, Nov/Dec. pp 48-54.
  • Boyer, J. and T. K. Wolf. "Development and preliminary validation of a Geographical Information System approach to vineyard site suitability assessment in Virginia." 11 p. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Cool Climate Viticulture and Oenology, 16-20 January 2000,Melbourne, Aust. (2000).

Grants and Awards:
  • Students' Choice Award for Faculty Member of the Year, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, sponsored by the Student Alumni Associates.
  • 2005 CEUT Summer Faculty Fellow Award to develop new course, The Geography of East Asia.
  • National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award for 2002.
  • 2002 University Sporn Award for Excellence in Teaching Introductory Subjects.
  • Virginia Winegrowers Advisory Board grant FY 1997-1998 for $11,000
    Grant title: "Geoclimatological Classification Model Development for Viticulture Potential in Virginia."
  • North Carolina Grape Council grant FY 1999-2000 for $16,500
    Grant title: "Geoclimatological classification of viticulture potential in North Carolina."
  • Boyer, John. 2000-2001. "On-Line Cross-College Student Exercises for Geography 1014." Funded by the College of Arts & Sciences, $12,430.