Genealogy and Speleology?

Honored this month to be profiled in the UW Retirement Association newsletter, The Sifter. See p. 8:…/Sifters20…/2021.10%20final.pdf. And the full text:

I retired as a part-time communications specialist with the School of Human Ecology in 2014 and quickly missed so often walking into Nancy Nicholas Hall, with its perfect blend of historic and new design elements. Back then, I could not have predicted the changes to come. Like the recent 116F-degree temperature in the Pacific Northwest, several developments surprised me, though my general direction has remained the same.

Freelance writing and editing projects in the fields of community banking and higher education have become chapters of my past. Yet, I still write. After decades of family history research, Henschel Haus, Milwaukee, (  published Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery as well as new editions of Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels; and, most recently, Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels (co-authored with Greg Brick).

Related to Elsie’s Story, I now write a monthly genealogy/family history column for Voice of the River Valley ( The family history interest is engrained: I still can’t throw away childhood artifacts like a Silver Streak sled, a carom board, and a music box-purse my Aunt Elsie gave me. Related to the Underground books, I contributed to a National Speleological Society-spearheaded website recognizing 2021 as the International Year of Caves and Karst—

An unexpected role is as a caregiver for my husband, Michael Knight (like me a UW-Madison alum), who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago.  We enjoy cooking together, culling family photos, doing jigsaw puzzles, and playing Scrabble.

As I’ve done most days for 27 years in every season and weather, I walk from our log house in the woods up to our “bunker” overlooking the Wisconsin River, with the Lone Rock bridge visible in the distance. Grounding also comes from working in our woods and gardening, which leads me inevitably back to the kitchen.

Like the vista of the river valley, retirement has led to a broad view and, on particularly windy days, the exhilaration of risk.

Vaccine Trials to Save Bats

Wisconsin’s Natural Heritage Conservation Field Notes reported in December on the first vaccine trials to combat the fungus causing white nose syndrome. At least one of the two vaccines tested were shown to increase survival in males and reduce levels of the fungus. Additional trials are underway this winter.


Doris Green grew up among a large cohort of  Wisconsin cousins, wise-cracking uncles, and laughing aunts who gathered regularly to play cards and swap stories. A family trip to the Cave of the Mounds in the 1950s launched a journey leading to several books.

Elsie’s Story: Chasing a Family Mystery (2018) puts an end to rumors about the mysterious death of a favorite aunt who died in 1960 at a small-town tavern Up North. The author uses the strategies of genealogy and journalism to finally answer the question: suicide, murder, or accident? (It’s available on Amazon and from Henschel Haus Publishing.)

A second edition of Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines, and Tunnels in and Around the Badger State was published last year by Henschel Haus. A second edition of Minnesota Underground, co-authored with Greg Brick, is now complete. Green also authored Explore Wisconsin Rivers.

Green previously co-published and edited Wisconsin Community Banker magazine for the former Community Bankers of Wisconsin and was a communications specialist with the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as publisher at Magna Publications for its former book division and national newsletter  division. Green continues to write for national, regional, and local publications, and present at libraries, conferences, and other gatherings.

She earned her undergraduate degree in English and a master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with her husband, Michael H. Knight, and three distracting cats in a log house near Spring Green, Wisconsin.

‘Exploring down under in the driftless’

Today the Dubuque Telegraph Herald ran reporter Michelle London’s interview with me on Minnesota Underground: A Guide to Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels and Wisconsin Underground: A Guide to Caves, Mines and Tunnels In and Around the Badger State. A sidebar features six sites in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin–all within easy day-trip range of Dubuque.

Good News!

Family historians who pause now and then to read genealogical fiction are cheering the announcement that Wisconsin author Kathleen Ernst has found a new publishing home for her Chole Elefson mystery series. The series follows the heroine’s adventures in solving mysteries set in various historic sites, from Old World Wisconsin to Pendarvis. Number 11 in the series, The Weaver’s Revenge, is expected to appear in spring 2021 from Three Towers Press, an imprint of Henschel Haus Publishing, Milwaukee.

            Ernst worked at Old World Wisconsin for a dozen years, wrote educational programs for public television, and authored award-winning children’s books for American Girl, as well as the Chole Elefson series. Her research delves deep, including travel, ethnic handwork, and cooking that bring a time and place to life and add credibility to her written words.

A Book in Hand

•Doris CAVES book cover-1What a joy to come home yesterday to find the eagerly awaited carton at our back door! The feeling of this book in hand powers connections with all the mines, tunnels, and caves ever visited, especially those in our neighboring state of Minnesota.

Coauthored with Greg Brick, PhD., Minnesota Underground: Caves & Karst, Mines & Tunnels is available from the publisher with free shipping until Dec. 15.