Tom Tripp

Director of Technical Services

U.S. Magnesium


Tom Tripp received a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah in 1977. He has 43 years of diverse industrial experience with the manufacture of metal from raw materials. 

Tom has been closely associated with topics on the Great Salt lake for the past 37 years being employed/affiliated at US Magnesium currently as the Director of Technical Services and Development, (and previously in various positions in production management, engineering and other technical functions). US Magnesium derives its raw materials from the waters of Great Salt Lake. 

In the past Tom has been involved in various trade organizations involving magnesium and chlorine. He has been a board member of the Utah Geologic Survey and a member of the advisory committee of the Utah Dept of Fire Forestry and State Lands as well as other boards and committees. 

Since 2004 he has been a member of the United Nation’s International Project on Climatic Change (IPCC) that deals with topics related global warming and other environmental issues.   

Tom left full time employment at US Magnesium after being elected as a County Commissioner in Tooele County 2018.  

Published peer reviewed papers on Great Salt Lake topics:

  • Great Salt Lake - An Overview of Change (a chapter on mineral extraction), UDNR Publication 2002; W. Gwynn editor.
  • A Brief History of the Great Salt Lake, Man and Minerals at the International Conference on Management of Submerged Lands 2003, Park City, UT
  • Production of Magnesium from the Great Salt Lake, Tom Tripp, International Society of Saline Lake Researchers, May 2008, Salt Lake City UT
  • Others

Title: Salinity Exports for Great Salt Lake 

Abstract: The salt content (or salinity) of Great Salt Lake is a defining characteristic of that body of water. As a terminal lake, Great Salt Lake is a repository or “bank” for the minerals carried in from historic and ongoing hydrogeologic processes that are carried out over a wide area. Those minerals play important factors related to biologic diversity, economic extraction, local weather, and other unexpected processes related to Great Salt Lake. The balance in the “bank account” of minerals however isn’t without withdrawals. Salt leaves the Lake via mineral extraction. Salt leaves the lake system through political decisions. Salts leave the lake in unexpected ways including atmospheric and biological process. Understanding how the minerals of the Lake enter and  exit will aid in the management and preservation of Great Salt Lake and enhance life for those living in the area.


Why We Care

  • Great Salt Lake, the second most hypersaline Inland Sea in the world, has a fate of becoming even more salty with permanent loss of a large portion of its Bear River fresh water life supply.

    Precious fresh water diverted to support more of the same, the endless expansion of the human race, big box stores, and shopping centers duplicated around the country ruining any future adventure of small town exploration and road trips.

    Everything is becoming the same. Everyone is looking the same. Everyone does the same things. Great Salt Lake is unique and the planet is loosing it as its life blood is stolen from its soft salty shores, waves gently breaking further and further out, leaving vast arrays of dry barren mudflats waiting for phragmites to invade.

    Utah does not own Great Salt Lake. Great Salt Lake is owned by the world.

    Karri Smith, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant