Sanden Totten Science Reporter

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Contact Sanden Totten

Sanden Totten is KPCC's Science Reporter. He covers everything from space exploration and medical technology to endangered species and the latest earthquake research. He's also co-producer of Brains On!, a podcast for kids and curious adults about the scientific mysteries of the universe.

Before joining KPCC's Science Desk, Sanden was a producer for Take Two and the Madeleine Brand Show. He began his career in journalism at Minnesota Public Radio where he co-created the show "In The Loop," and helped develop the Public Insight Network, a crowd-sourcing tool designed to bring unique perspectives to the news.

Sanden is the winner of several honors, including the Radio and TV News Association’s Golden Mike for “Best Radio Medical and Science Reporting” and the National Entertainment Journalism's award for “Best Radio News Story.” In 2011 he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, he graduated from Oberlin College in 2004 with a BA in Psychology and English.

Sanden has lived in Sweden and Japan and speaks both languages. He's a fan of comics, fast music and movies about time travel.


Stories by Sanden Totten

Lab Notes: Smart mice, a giant squid and the physics of space trash

Every week, there are plenty of weird developments in the world of science, and KPCC's Sanden Totten joins us to explain on our regular segment – Lab Notes.

New Santa Ana wind prediction tool could help alert residents to wildfires

The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, announced Wednesday, will classify the fire threat potential of the notoriously hot, dry and strong "devil wind" so familiar to area residents.

Heat wave: LA breaks record again for energy demand

The National Weather Service says the region should expect "dangerously hot weather" Tuesday as thousands remain without power.

Blue Moon Diamond comes to LA County Natural History Museum

The Blue Moon Diamond, an internally flawless 12-carat diamond, will be on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County through Jan. 6, 2015.

Mars Curiosity team responds to harsh criticism from NASA panel

A routine press conference turned heated as Curiosity scientists defended the rover's new goals after a senior review panel lambasted parts of the mission.

Science Fiction to Science Fact, or 'Why is Kirk still using a flip phone?'

TV and movies give scientists, thinkers, and dreamers a place to ignore hard fast scientific rules and see what else is possible.

Half of California's bird species threatened by climate change

A new Audubon report shows how climate change could affect the ranges of 170 bird species in California by the end of the century.

Blue whales in California nearly recovered from whaling

A new study finds California's blue whale population has stabilized to pre-whaling levels.

Drought: Sierra Nevada runoff could dwindle as planet warms

A new study finds that climate change might cause more plants to grow at higher elevations in the Sierra, resulting in less runoff for streams and rivers.

Megadrought: 20 to 50 percent chance by century's end

A new study says climate change will increase the chances that decades long dry spells will hit the Southwest during the next century.

Padilla says state general funds for early warning system an option

Seeking general funds to pay for an earthquake early warning system is not out of the question, says State Senator Alex Padilla.

Napa Earthquake: Injury tally climbs to 120; 6 critically injured

Six people are in critical condition after an earthquake struck wine country early Sunday. One-hundred twenty have been treated for injuries, hospital officials say.

Damaged coral reefs give off smells that drive away fish

A new study says ecologically degraded coral reefs give off a chemical cue that drives away fish and new coral, hindering the recovery process in these areas.

USC scientists uncover the secret of 'electric bacteria'

These novel organisms can send a charge to objects around them, creating the possibility of one day using bacteria to power batteries.

State agency prepares to make a decision on Hollywood Fault

State geologists say they only had limited access to important trenches around the Hollywood fault, a claim that developers dispute.