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

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to focus on Earth in 2014

Next year, NASA's JPL will launch three missions focused on Earth. One will track soil moisture, another will study global C02, and a third will monitor wind patterns.

Beachcombing: 'Beach Runners' keep shores free of bacteria (photos)

Government employees regularly sample and test ocean water. It's their job to make sure people don't get sick from swimming in polluted areas.

Millennium Towers: City 'concealed' Hollywood fault details, opponents charge

Opponents of the Hollywood Millennium Towers say emails show the city had concerns about the fault that weren't included in an Environmental Impact Report.

Beachcombing: Hunting for red tide with robots at USC (photos)

Red tide is a dangerous phenomenon that can sicken and even kill sea animals. To help scientists understand these tidessan USC has designed a seafaring robot.

A year on Mars: What's Curiosity been up to?

In its first year on the red planet, the six-wheeled rover has driven a little bit more than a mile, drilled into rocks and performed chemical and mineral analysis.

Bubonic plague has a 100 year history in California

A squirrel was recently found with bubonic plague in Angeles National Forrest. It's just the latest case in a 100 year history of the disease in California.

NOAA cruise to study rising levels of acid in Pacific Ocean

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is planning a west coast cruise to study how rising levels of ocean acid are affecting marine life.

Scientists turn to public to combat reduced federal funding

Developing a new drug, exploring space or mapping the human brain can cost millions. So some researchers are turning to the public for funding.

Fund my science? Researchers ask the public for money

Federal grants for scientific research are getting harder to get. So many scientists are turning to the public to help fund their studies.

5th 'Hotshot' killed in Ariz. fire had Southern California ties

It was the deadliest single day for U.S. firefighters since Sept. 11. Here are the stories of some of those who died, including the five Californians.

How clean is your local beach? NRDC release annual report

The NRDC releases its annual report on the state of the nation's beaches. Among the 30 states with coasts, California ranked 20th.

Night light: It's a bird, it's a's supermoon!

The supermoon will occur around 4 am PT Sunday, June 23rd. If you miss it, you'll have to wait until August 2014 to see the next one.

FAQ: How do you know if a bridge is safe?

News reports abound with ominous terms like "structurally deficient" and "functionally obsolete." Here's a guide to help make sense of the techno-jargon.

Map: Gauging the health of Southern California's bridges

Explore the area's bridges to learn more about how federal and state ratings work — and how they can sometimes lead to confusion.

How safe are California's bridges?

Hundreds of California bridges are rated as 'functionally obsolete,' 'structurally deficient,' or 'fracture critical.' But experts say the labels are misleading.