Guerrilla Geography at Sunset Zoo

A New Way to Explore

Guerrilla geography was developed by United Kingdom's The Geography Collective. Founded by Daniel Raven-Ellison, the group creates new outlets for children to explore their communities. It is perhaps best-known for its Mission: Explore! book series. Each edition presents a new series of innovative and often silly missions. These missions encourage children to experience places in different ways and ask questions about the things that make up these places. It's taking geography to the next level while integrating map reading, earth science, life science, math and much more.

What It Looks Like at Sunset Zoo

Two of Sunset Zoo's Science Communication Fellows, Thomas Larsen and Lisa Tabor, have created a opportunity to engage in this new style of exploration. Inspired by The Geography Collective's efforts, Mission: Explore Zoo, Call of the Wild serves as a template for educators to incorporate guerrilla geography into their own learning environments.

Downloadable PDF: Mission: Explore Zoo, Call of the Wild

More About the Authors

Lisa Tabor is an educator, scientist, and researcher all rolled into one. She will complete her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Kansas State University in May 2016 and then move to Georgia Southern University in August 2016 to be an assistant professor at the Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education. Lisa’s research focuses on best practices in education, enhancing technology use through local authentic learning experiences in the classroom, and improving teacher education/professional development, during which Lisa primarily studies geography, GIS, and climate change content. She is an active member of the National Geographic Network of State Geographic Alliances, where she regularly connects with pre-service and in-service teachers through professional development experiences. When not in her office doing research or working with teachers, Lisa can be found hiking with her dog, reading a book, traveling, and enjoying life.

Thomas Larsen is a geographer. He currently works as a Master of Arts researcher and teaching assistant at the Kansas State University Department of Geography. He will begin his PhD in Fall 2016. Thomas has research interests in geography education, climatology, and geographic thought. His Master's thesis uses mental maps to learn how third graders from different parts of Kansas perceive their community. His PhD research will be geared toward how global changes affect the ways in which geographers think about the human-environmental systems of the world. Additionally, he has collaborated with a team of geographers and animal scientists to understand how climate change will affect livestock stress in Turkey and the Central United States. Thomas volunteers regularly for the Kansas Geographic Alliance advocating for geography education in the U.S. education system. On his spare time, he enjoys "daycations" to places around Kansas and Missouri, kayaking, rock climbing, and going to coffeeshops.