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

What California's 'minority majority' population can teach the nation

The Census reports that for the first time, white births were outnumbered by minority births. This has been true in California for decades. What can the nation learn from California's diverse demographic?

Visiting the first Spacecraft Technology Expo

When there's a group of space enthusiasts at a convention center, they're usually focused on Star Trek or X-Files. But this week, the Los Angeles Convention Center hosted a different crowd of starry-eyed dreamers — space entrepreneurs — for the first-ever Spacecraft Technology Expo.

The physicist behind the hit game Angry Birds

Meet Erin Catto. He lives in Irvine. He’s a father of two, a video game fan and a Cornell graduate who holds a PhD in theoretical and applied mechanics. He is also responsible for the physics of one of the popular mobile games in history.

Checking in on the Occupy Wall Street movement

About a half-year ago, news programs were filled with reports on Occupy protests around the country. But what happened to the Occupy movement? KPCC's Sanden Totten checked in with some of the past and present protesters to find out.

A spreading plant disease could harm California's citrus crop

Imagine California with no oranges, no lemons or limes. This could be reality if state officials don't find a way to stop the spread of a plant disease known as "citrus greening."

US-Korea trade agreement a boon to wine and raisins?

The U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, the largest trade accord in decades, takes effect this month.

Tsunami early detection system in danger

Obama's 2013 budget plan may cut crucial funding to California's tsunami warning system.

Will popularity of violent 'Hunger Games' surpass 'Twilight'?

Lions Gate hopes its movie will be the next big box-office franchise, but some say the movie's narrative is too dark.

The world's most expensive boulder?

The costs of moving the giant 340-ton boulder to the L.A. County Museum of Art. Hint: Gas isn't even the most expensive part of the process.

Grammy Museum exhibit explores LA's music after WWII

The new exhibition is called "Trouble in Paradise." KPCC's Sanden Totten finds out why the contradiction fits L.A. and speaks with music pioneers from after WWII.

Mars exploration takes a hit in new NASA budget

NASA Director Charles Bolden traveled to Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena Wednesday to discuss budget cuts with his staff. NASA is slated to lose $300 million in funding for planetary exploration next year.

LA expands a promising, but expensive, alcohol abuse treatment

Alcohol abuse costs L.A. County more than $10 billion every year. A large part of that money goes for treatment for alcoholics. Many end up in a familiar circle of rehab, treatment and relapse. But a new drug program is looking to stop that cycle with a shot.

Writers behind video games fight for recognition

Recent releases like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Batman: Arkham City have sold millions of copies and racked up huge profits But many who create the games don't get proper credit for their contributions - like the writers.

Murders, suicides and bear attacks - Pasadena's dark history

When you think of Pasadena – you think of the Rose Parade, Colorado Boulevard or maybe little old ladies in fast cars. But like every neighborhood, Pasadena has a dark side. The Pasadena Confidential bus tour explores the grim history of this quiet suburb. The tour features bizarre crimes, strange disappearances and a rude but entertaining clown named Crimebo.

L.A. aims to green up city streets with mini-parks

Mini-parks are popping up around the country, from New York to San Francisco. Now, Los Angeles is about to join in. These "parklets" take advantage of small spaces in urban areas. They're often set up in what was once a parking space and include benches, trees and sometimes a patio.