Ryder was born in New York City, and resides in Los Angeles, California. She has degrees in communications and computer applications from Cortland University, where she graduated with honors in 2003, along with an All-American title and a National Championship in field hockey. Erin also holds a Masters Degree in Television, Radio and Film from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
In 2004, she began working for the Olympics on NBC producing the Open, Bumps, Teases and Promos for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Her resume grew to include reality shows on Spike, Cartoon Network, ESPN, NBC, ABC, CBS, TLC, CW, VH1, MTV, STYLE, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Channel.
Ryder moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to continue her work in the field of television. She landed a job as a field producer at MTV on the Final Fu, a series that pit the best practitioners of their respective martial arts styles against one another in a series of challenges and head to head fights. Ryder also assisted in producing the 32nd Daytime Emmy Awards.
2007 brought Ryder back to New York where she worked as a producer on VH1's competition reality series, The (White) Rapper Show.
In 2009 she was sent to Detroit to work on ABC's, Crash Course, a stunt-heavy competition reality series. That same year she worked as a supervising producer on Cartoon Networks first live-action kids show, The Othersiders. She also produced Dude, What Would Happen, a jackass-for-kids like reality show on Cartoon Network.
In 2010 Ryder produced MTV's Ultimate Parkour Challenge, a live race through an urban environment by practitioners of parkour.
In 2011 she worked in the field on The Discovery Channel's hour-long special The Supernaturalist, which followed magician Dan White as he travels through Nepal, in an attempt to discover real Tibetan magic. 2011 was also the year she began working on the documentary television series pilot, Finding Bigfoot that premiered on May 30, 2011, on Animal Planet. The show follows a group of investigators from the BFRO around the country in search of the mysterious creature.
Ryder appeared in the second, third, fourth and fifth season of Syfy's paranormal reality series, Destination Truth, as a producer and team member. Destination Truth was a weekly reality television series that first premiered on June 6, 2007, on Syfy. The program followed paranormal researcher Josh Gates around the world to investigate claims of the supernatural, mainly in the field of cryptozoology. Season three concluded on April 21, 2010, and holds the highest ratings ever for the series, which continued with a fourth season in 2010 and a fifth and final season that ended on August 14, 2012. Ryder was also the co-executive producer for the series.
Ryder, Ben McGee and James Fox, star in the Nat Geo series Chasing UFOs, which premiered on Friday June 29, 2012. The show focuses on a team of investigators who set out to investigate reports of UFO activity across the United States, frequently interviewing eyewitnesses. Ryder is also the co-executive producer for the series.
In 2016 Ryder produced and starred in the web series Myth Explorer for Universal Studios. It follows her and her crew as they, "brave an island that doesn't appear on any official map—a rocky, skull-shaped jungle in the Indian Ocean where the story of King Kong originated." The online series launched to promote the upcoming King Kong attraction: Skull Island: Reign of Kong. The series was promoted on SyFy and included an extra teaser on NBC.