Rachel Becker covers California’s complex water challenges and water policy issues for CalMatters. In 2021 she won first place for Outstanding Beat Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists, and in 2022 she was the first recipient of the Rita Schmidt Sudman Award for Excellence in Water Journalism from the Water Education Foundation. She comes to reporting with a background in scientific research, and has master's degrees in immunology and science journalism. Before CalMatters, Rachel was a staff science reporter at The Verge, where she wrote stories and hosted videos covering a range of beats including health, science and the environment. Her byline has also appeared in NOVA Next, National Geographic News, Smithsonian, Slate, Nature, Nature Medicine, bioGraphic, and Hakai Magazine as well as the digital video series Gross Science and MinuteEarth.