Sanden Totten Science Reporter

Staff Headshots
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

Bringing symphonies to Skid Row - playing a concert for LA's Downtown Mental Health Center

Last week on Skid Row, the melodies of Mozart, Bach and Handel filled the air. L.A. Philharmonic first violinist Robert Gupta performed an exclusive concert for clients of the Downtown Mental Health Center. It's part of his continuing effort to combat mental illness with music.

LA orders 140 pot dispensaries to close

This week, the Los Angeles city attorney’s office sent letters to 140 medical marijuana dispensaries ordering their immediate shutdown because they violate a new ordinance.

Using technology before bed can lead to insomnia

Feeling tired? Blame your computer. The National Sleep Foundation says technology before bed hurts your quality of sleep.

LAPD use computers and smartphones to fight graffiti

Los Angeles is deploying smartphones and computers in the fight against graffiti. Officials unveiled a new initiative Friday that allows work crews to track the most prolific taggers with the technology.

Villaraigosa signs plan to make LA more bike-friendly

Politicians and bike enthusiasts met on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall Wednesday morning to support a plan that promotes bicycle safety.

Lawyers give tips on managing a celebrity (like Charlie Sheen) in crisis

When famous people get in serious trouble, it can be too much for their managers and publicists. Charlie Sheen’s publicist resigned Monday after the TV star generated too much bad publicity. KPCC’s Sanden Totten recently attended a conference by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. The title was worthy of a reality TV show - "Celebrities in Crisis."

Archbishop Jose Gomez will soon lead LA’s Catholic community

On Sunday, Cardinal Roger Mahony celebrates his 75th birthday. It’s also the day he steps down as the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Replacing him is Archbishop Jose Gomez. Gomez led dioceses in San Antonio and Denver. He's about to take the reins of one of the nation’s largest and most diverse Catholic populations.

Filling President Lincoln's size 14 shoes

Presidents Day is national holiday. But for presidential impersonators, it’s no day off. KPCC’s Sanden Totten took a stroll with a Lincoln look-alike in Old Town Pasadena to find out what it takes to fill the 16th president’s shoes.

Stardust spacecraft snaps 72 photos of Tempel 1 comet

Last night, a NASA spacecraft played interstellar paparazzi. Stardust snapped 72 pictures as it flew by a six kilometer comet. The goal was to get a better idea of what comets are made of - and where they come from.

The politics behind the flower business

The Valentine bouquet you may have offered the one you love during the weekend – or will tonight, after a swing by the supermarket floral department – may have traveled thousands of miles.

The pests hiding in your Valentine's Day flowers

Los Angeles International Airport may smell sweeter than usual this week. That’s because cargo jets are delivering millions of flowers in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Federal Customs and Border Patrol has stepped up inspections to ensure that the flowers you pick up at the store don’t harbor unwanted pests.

Immigrants' rights groups call for focus on women

Immigrants' rights supporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday said they plan to focus on issues many people tend to overlook - the concerns of women.

In Other News...

There's only so much you can cover in an hour of the Madeleine Brand Show. But there are plenty of stories just below the radar that nonetheless brighten our days. So, we've collected some of the bizzare headlines that made us smile.

Seeking the Total State of the Union Experience

Who doesn't love a good State of the Union speech?

Spam on the decline

If you were checking your e-mail over the holidays, you may have noticed something was missing.Spam.The mass marketing messages were on the decline across the world last month. That's according to data from computer security firm, Symantec.