Asked to offer a snapshot of an average workday, Tristam Coffin says he spends most of his time "bouncing around from store to store" among the sixteen (and counting) Whole Foods stores in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area.
He has to have a quick step mentally, as well, in his job as green mission specialist for the chain. Coffin's focus runs from working with waste haulers on recycling programs to consulting with architects on energy efficient design for new stores to environmental outreach programs with customers. "Basically, I work to ensure that Whole Foods is as green as possible," he says.
Coffin credits the interdisciplinary nature of his UVM major in Environmental Studies as being essential to his success in his first post-college job. He also grew from experience during a fifth year on campus when he worked as a teaching assistant in Environmental Studies and a research assistant for the UVM Transportation Research Center.
Rattling off a list of teachers who were positive influences, Coffin says, "I could go on forever about these professors and how they and the experiences they opened me up to shaped the person and environmentalist I am today, but we would be here for a long time."