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John Boyer


My blog site
My lectures on iTunes

John In the News:

Unite Thousands of Online Leaders with a Selfie Game
Course Hero

How a Flipped Syllabus, Twitter and YouTube Made This Professor Teacher of the Year

VT Professor Teaches World Affairs Through Comic Book Alter Ego
Course Hero

Aung San Suu Kyi holds live Skype interview with Virginia Tech students

Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen stop by Virginia Tech
WSLS-TV Channel 10

Charity co-founder speaks to Tech
Collegiate Times

Other News about John and his work...

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 4054 Geography of Wine
  • GEOG 3254 Geography of East Asia
  • Geography of the Middle East

Recent Publications:

  • The Plaid Avenger's World: A Populist Apocalypse (9th edition, 2017)  website:
  • Drink this Now! (2nd Edition, Jan 2010) (
  • 4th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (CHEP), February 8-10, 2012, Blacksburg, VA
    Title: Expanding Engagement to Thousands: Communication Tools for Large Classes
    Full description of talk can be found at
  • Boyer J., Byrd n., Doolittle P., & Pritchard K.; Learner-Centered Teaching in Large and Ultra-Large Classes. October 13, 2011 in 41st Annual Conference Proceedings of International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL), San Diego, CA
  • Conn S., Boyer J., Hu D., & Wilkinson T.; Scaling Large-size Undergraduate Classes at a Top Research University via eLearning Strategies: A Facilitated Model of Instruction using a Web 2.0 Paradigm. February 25, 2010 in the Information Systems Education Journal, Volume 8, Issue Number 5
  • The Plaid Avenger’s World ( October 2006 .)
  • 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.