Congratulations to Rachel Becker, ’15, for winning the first-ever Water Education Foundation’s Rita Schmidt Sudman Award for Excellence in Water Journalism. Dedicated to recognizing journalistic work that shines a light on complex water issues in California and the West, the award comes with a $1,000 cash prize and access to the Water Education Foundation’s vast educational resources.
Rachel is currently a reporter who covers the water beat for the nonprofit, nonpartisan outlet CalMatters. “Covering water means covering the lifeblood of California,” Rachel said in a press release. “On behalf of the CalMatters team that’s behind every story on the water beat, I’m so honored to accept this award.”
In addition to this new award, Rachel also won first place for Outstanding Beat Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2021 and was part of a CalMatters team that scooped up 17 California Journalism Awards last year. Prior to reporting for CalMatters, Rachel was a staff science reporter at The Verge, where she wrote stories and hosted videos covering a range of beats including climate change, nicotine, and nuclear technology. Her byline has also appeared in NOVA Next, National Geographic News, Smithsonian, Slate, Nature, Nature Medicine, bioGraphic, and Hakai Magazine, as well as the PBS Digital Studios video series Gross Science and the YouTube show MinuteEarth.