Hydrologic Technician, Water Resources Department, San Diego, California
U.S. Geological Survey
 
How Rachel L. Zweig got involved with U.S. Geological Survey
After graduating from college, I volunteered part time at the Water Resources Department while searching for a job. Eventually, they convinced me to look no further. I enrolled in evening GIS classes at a community college, which allows me to work full-time during the day.
 
Experience
I don't believe I will ever forget one special, summer day in Lancaster, CA. A supervisor and I were setting up one of the last surface resistivity transects. It had been a long and somewhat frustrating week, exacerbated by nasty, biting ants. They came in two varieties: the small, swarming red ants, and the large bumbling black ants (who have enough strength to individually cart away a quarter; this I know from first hand observation). As I'm hammering away on one of the last stakes, I hear a sharp yell followed by a string expletives. I turn around to find my boss frantically slapping at his pants. Suffice it to say, it left him out of action. Now, I know this doesn't exactly sound like the description of a job highlight, but, there was a silver lining in this cloud of tragedy. My boss disabled, it was my responsibility to finish setting up and collecting the data. Thus marks conferral of my first supervisory responsibility. Soon thereafter, I was to be the lead in surface resistivity field work.
 
Rachel L. Zweig's accomplishments
I learned many things from someone else's ant bite. I learned the true value of bug repellent and treading cautiously on another creature's territory. I learned how to stay goal-focused and complete my objectives, despite unforeseeable challenges. And also, I learned to run a Sting R8 box under stressful circumstances.
 
Rachel L. Zweig's next steps
Currently I am applying for a masters degree in a hydrologically or geologically related field. Until then, I just want to gain as much work experience as possible.
 
Hometown: San Diego, California
School: UCLA