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Lukas Zurcher, PhD

Lukas is a Research Geologist and Deputy Center Director with Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. He received a Ph.D. and MS in Geosciences from the University of Arizona, and a BS in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He has worked on topics under the broad category of mineral resources.

Dr. Zurcher conducts mineral resource assessments and investigates mineral potential mapping techniques to predict the ore-forming environment, quality and quantity of mineral deposits. He has expertise in porphyry, skarn, IOCG, orogenic Au, lateritic Au and impact-generated ore systems, geologic mapping, tectonics and structural geology, igneous and hydrothermal geochemistry, statistical methods, GIS-based prospectivity mapping, and personnel training. He has accumulated 35 years of combined international industry, academic, and government experience and speaks English, Spanish, and German. Dr. Zurcher serves as Deputy Center Director for the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, which has offices in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Professional Experience

  • 2022-Present, Deputy Center Director, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ

  • 2011-2022, Research Geologist, United States Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ

  • 2002-2011, Program Manager, Lowell Program in Economic Geology, University of Arizona, and Consulting Geologist, Exploration Services for the Minerals Industry, Tucson, AZ

  • 2002-2005, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lunar and Planetary Sciences Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

  • 1991-2002, Research Associate, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

  • 1988-1991, Project Geologist and Field Operations Manager, Dundarave Resources Inc., Vancouver, B.C.

  • 1985-March 1988, Geologist, Compañía Minera de Cananea S.A. de CV., Sonora, Mexico

  • 1981 summer, Intern, Compañía Minera de Cananea S.A. de C.V., Sonora, Mexico

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Geosciences, University of Arizona, 2002

  • M.S., Geosciences, December, University of Arizona, 1994

  • B.S., Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1985

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • 2009- Present, American Institute of Professional Geologists – CPG, Tucson, AZ

  • 1988 – Present, Society of Economic Geologists – Fellow, Tucson, AZ

  • 1991 –Present, Arizona Geological Society – member, officer 2008-2009

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government