Meet Rachel McCormick
Principal Lab Analyst for Santa Rosa Water
19 years with the City of Santa Rosa
Meet Rachel McCormick, Principal Lab Analyst for Santa Rosa Water. Rachel’s typical duties include performing analytical chemistry tests to measure pollutants in the Santa Rosa Regional Water Reuse System. Rachel is also a project manager for numerous clients that send samples to the City’s Laguna Environmental Laboratory. Rachel and her team are regularly learning new methods, complying with new regulations, and upgrading instrumentation. It is a dynamic, ever-changing, and interesting work environment. Rachel has her BA in psychology, a BS in Biology, and a master’s in molecular biology. Rachel has always gravitated toward working in a science-based environment, having worked in laboratories of various fields including academia, medical, winery, dairy, and biotech/pharmaceuticals. In fact, Rachel was working for another environmental lab, when a job opportunity presented itself. Rachel was intrigued - it was nearly the exact same work she was already doing, but with much better pay and benefits. Once Rachel saw the City’s spacious and well-equipped laboratory, she knew she wanted to work here. Now, nearly 20 years later, Rachel still loves coming to work and a major factor is her coworkers. Rachel explains that many people stay in these lab positions for the duration of their careers and Rachel has been friends with most of her coworkers for nearly two decades now. They have watched each other’s families form and grow, supported each other through life’s trials, and generally enjoy each other’s company. In addition to her amazing coworkers, Rachel explains that the City of Santa Rosa, as an organization and employer, has helped her tremendously throughout her career. Rachel started her tenure at the City with entry-level experience in environmental lab work. Through years of guidance and mentorship, Rachel promoted, learning more complex instrumentation. The City also supported Rachel in pursuing her master’s degree – from schedule flexing to attend class, support in thesis projects and research, to participation in an educational reimbursement program. Rachel claims she could not have accomplished all of this without management’s support. Rachel encourages other women to pursue careers in science, like she did. She recommends, if you are interested in a STEM career, to take every opportunity to gain hands-on experience including internships and get as much lab experience as you can, since it will help to train you for your future pursuits. When Rachel isn’t working in the laboratory, you can find her exploring our beautiful Sonoma County beaches looking for interesting rock formations, tidepools, and other natural beauty. When not at the beach you can find Rachel enjoying Disneyland and spending time with her friends and family.