Erin Tanaka (née DenBaars) grew up in Tucson, Arizona. In high school Erin was an intern with Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, which helped to cultivate a love for archaeology and anthropology. Erin received an Associate of Anthropology degree from Pima Community College and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Classics. Erin has participated in the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition as a student archaeologist in Luxor, Egypt, and has volunteered with the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge in Ostional, Costa Rica. Prior to becoming the Program Coordinator at Tumamoc Hill, Erin was the Latin teacher at Leman Academy of Excellence Central Campus and the Visitor Services Program Coordinator at the Arizona State Museum.