Natasha was born and raised in the Russian Far East, on the north shore of the Okhotsk Sea. Her archaeologist father made sure her childhood summers were rather unique: rafting on the Kolyma River, backpacking around the Olsky Plateau, and excavating places where people stopped for a break or lived from 200 to 11,000 years ago. Her interest in the adaptations that made living near or above the Arctic Circle possible thousands of years ago (without North Face and Gore-Tex!) led her to University of Alaska Anchorage, where she got her undergraduate degree in Anthropology, and then University of Washington, where she got her MA (Anthropology). Between school years, she assisted the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service with surveying for unknown archaeological sites and monitoring or excavating the known ones in places like Gates of the Arctic National Park, Yukon-Charley National Park, and Katmai National Park. She focused on the stone tools, trying to discern how and why ancient technologies changed.
Natasha lives in The Bay Area of California now and gets out to the Sierra Mountains as much as possible (backpacking in summers and skiing in the winter) because they remind her of the North.