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

Endangered Catalina Island foxes, on the rebound, face a new enemy: Us

The island foxes were once plagued by a virus that nearly wiped out the population. Now, as their population has recovered, the greatest threat to the species are humans.

Election 2015: The science behind increasing voter turnout

From public shaming to cash prizes, there are many research-backed ideas for improving voter turnout, which is expected to be low for Tuesday's primary election.

5 new NASA missions tracking changes on Planet Earth

From wind and rain to clouds and carbon, a suite of new NASA instruments is helping track Earth's weather and climate.

Swallows not returning to San Juan Capistrano mission

A researcher working with the mission is proposing a new plan to build a wall of fake plaster nests in hopes of luring the famous birds back.

Superbug FAQ: Where did it come from? What's the risk?

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center says seven patients have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant superbug that was transmitted between October and January.

Green sea turtles find unlikely home in San Gabriel River

Green sea turtles typically live in warm water, but a group appears to be thriving in an urban river. Outflows from nearby power plants seem to be helping them.

Megadrought likely in next 100 years as CO2 levels rise

A NASA study predicts that if emissions of CO2 continue to rise at current rate, there will be an 80% chance of a decades long drought by the end of the century.

Santa Ana winds to bring warming to Southern California

Meteorologists say the strongest of the northeast gusts will occur Wednesday and Thursday.

New fossil helps shed light on a monkey mystery

How and when monkeys arrived in South America from Africa remains a mystery, but a recent fossil shows the creatures have been there for 36 million years.

NASA budget calls for mission to Jupiter's moon Europa

The proposed 2016 budget also sets aside funds for a new Mars rover and a plan to capture an asteroid. It also cuts money for the long-lived Mars Opportunity rover.

World's oceans steadily heating up, new study finds

Ocean temperatures are rising about 0.005° C a year. Scientists say the difference may seem small but vast amounts of heat are required for this type of change.

A new potential pesticide found in plants

UC Riverside scientists are part of an international team that has discovered naturally occurring compounds in plants to control problem insects.

How unboiling an egg can help cancer researchers

A new technique to untangle proteins allows researchers to reverse the cooking process of an egg. It could also lead to cheaper materials for cancer research.

Asteroid flyby: How to spot space rock 2004 BL86

While it poses no threat, the asteroid will pass close enough Monday night for sky watchers with binoculars or small telescopes to get a glimpse.

Cancer-hunting 'T cells' used in pioneering new treatment

A promising new cancer therapy is being tested at City of Hope medical center. It involves modifying a patient's white blood cells so they can eliminate cancer.