Luke Schranz wearing a hard hat.

Luke Schranz

M.S. student, Geology


I was born and raised in Clarendon Hills, IL, a western suburb of Chicago. While this is not a premier destination for outdoor activities, my parents instilled a love for the outdoors in me by taking my brother and I on many hiking, camping, and fishing trips. This passion for the outdoors quickly grew into a curiosity about how the natural world around me came to look as it does today. This curiosity led me to take an earth science class my freshman year in high school which ended with a life changing geology field trip to the Grand Canyon and northern Arizona. I was hooked and decided to pursue a dual degree in geology and geological engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Here I had the privilege to learn from some of the best and attend field trips all over the country.

The culmination of my education in Madison was attending the Wasatch-Unita Field Camp based in Park City, UT. Here I visited Carlin, NV and toured some of the local gold mines. After interacting with some geologists there, I became fascinated with ore deposits and knew that I needed to put my geology skills to work in the mining and mineral exploration industry. When I graduated from UW-Madison in the spring of 2017 I had landed a job at Klondex’s (now Hecla Nevada’s) Fire Creek Mine. I moved to Elko and began work as an underground production geologist. Working underground allowed me to observe this high grade low sulfidation epithermal vein deposit from three dimensions, but also raised a lot of questions about the geological setting and how the veins formed there. Hecla Mining Company offered me the opportunity to study the Fire Creek deposit in detail as a M.S. student in the CREG program where I have been since the fall of 2019. Here I am researching the paragenesis and geologic setting of the Fire Creek deposit in order to determine the relationship between the high grade veins and disseminated refractory mineralization present and also to compare Fire Creek to other known deposits such as Mule Canyon.

Research interests

Economic Geology, Epithermal Ore Deposits, Structural Geology, Geochemistry


B.S. Geological Engineering and Geology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017