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Sarah GortonSarah Gorton ’18

San Antonio, TX

Meet Sarah Gorton, a class of 2019 communication major from San Antonio.

Since she began volunteering at the San Antonio Zoo in 8th grade, Sarah’s interest in bats has only grown. Now, she has plans to use her Communication degree at UTSA to fight for these misunderstood mammals.

As a college student, Sarah has traveled to different states and learned different field techniques—such as acoustic monitoring, mist netting and radio telemetry—to survey bat populations. She also volunteers at Bracken Cave, the world’s largest bat colony just outside of San Antonio. She even started an online fundraising campaign to pay for her own rabies vaccinations, a requirement for doing field work with bats.

Sarah finds a lot of her professors to be supportive of her using bats in her classwork. All of her speeches have been about bats, and in her communication inquiry class, she’s putting together an abstract and literature review for a paper on how the news media frames bats. One of her professors is even encouraging her to try to get the paper published!

Sarah believes research is instrumental in her classwork, “For me, doing research is super important because it bridges the gap between communication and ecology,” said Sarah. “If I want to go into graduate work in ecology or environmental science, that research will be what gets me there.”

Sarah recently enjoyed participating in the undergraduate research conference because she got to talk about bats! She got to publicly present and explain to people why they are so important. “That’s why I’m in communication—I like the outreach and the conservation education.”