Tristen Durand '18


Tristen was born and raised in Alexandria Bay, New York. Growing up on the St. Lawrence River, she became passionate about protecting freshwater resources. She loved to fish, swim, and boat with her family. Throughout high school, Tristen was heavily involved in the music program and planned to study computer science in college. She began her studies at Rochester Institute of Technology as a computer science major and quickly changed her major to criminal justice. During her two years at RIT, Tristen worked for the RIT Center for Public Safety Initiatives where she researched the relationship between females and burglary in Rochester, New York. By the end of her first year, she traveled to Roger Williams University to present her and her team’s research at the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences’ 35th Annual Meeting. Tristen decided to transfer schools after the completion of her sophomore year at RIT because of her decision to attend law school after graduation.

In 2013, she began studying Public Justice at SUNY Oswego, a state university located on the shore of Lake Ontario. There she became aware of the interest for Great Lakes water and the threats to freshwater resources in the northeast. As a student, she interned twice with the Watertown Regional Office of the New York State Attorney General where she was first introduced to environmental issues. Her experience confirmed her interests in environmental law and water rights, and she applied to Vermont Law School. Tristen came to VLS directly after graduation from SUNY Oswego. Tristen’s passion to protect freshwater resources, the environment, and public health stem from her childhood home and from her high school environmental science classroom, where her teacher taught her about Erin Brokovich. Her goal is to pursue a legal career where she can be effective in preserving and protecting both surface and ground water resources. She hopes to be the go-to attorney at a firm for all things “water.” She plans to settle in Vermont, and continue to enjoy the natural beauty and the fisheries throughout the state.