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

New kelp tests will show if Fukushima radiation has reached West Coast

The rubbery sea plant absorbs radioactive isotopes, and tests so far haven't found evidence that tainted water from Fukushima has reached North America.

Why Huntington Beach has such reliably good waves

From the direction it faces, to its latitude on the globe, Huntington Beach is set up perfectly to get great waves.

El Niño's warm waters bring exotic sea life to California

Hammerhead sharks, Bryde's whales, needlefish and other rare creatures are showing up off the coast of California. Scientists think El Niño might be responsible.

Calif. may see more big quakes, fewer overall says USGS

According to a new map released by the U.S. Geological Survey, California is at greater risk of less frequent but very powerful quakes.

Lab Notes: Sleep and a full moon, motivating yourself and more

Looking for new ways to motivate yourself? Want to know about the REAL paleo diet? And might you be part werewolf? It's time for our regular science segment Lab Notes.

First Person: Dr. Sophia Momand is driven to help the homeless

Momand's work with the homeless is partly driven by her Muslim faith, which stresses the need to actively help others.

New fossil reveals 4-winged dinosaur ... that could fly?

Researchers say the fossil also suggests that some dinosaurs had impressive foot-long tail feathers used for complicated aerial moves.

One way trip to Mars? These Californians say 'bring it on'

Netherlands-based Mars One plans to send four people on a one way trip to colonize Mars in 2024. Several Southern Californians have applied to go.

NASA: Deep-space rocket design ready for production

Once completed, the Space Launch System will be able to carry large amounts of cargo to space, allowing for manned missions to asteroids and Mars.

Mapping the Santa Monica Fault presents unique challenges

The California Geological Survey will document a 15-mile rupture that runs through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and Beverly Hills.

LADWP flips the switch on 52,000 'smart meters'

On July 1st the LADWP began using smart meters on homes and buildings to monitor Angelenos energy use in real time as part of a two year pilot program.

NASA to launch new carbon-tracking spacecraft

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory will use a spectrometer to see which regions of Earth produce the largest amounts of CO2 and which forests reabsorb it the most.

Curiosity completes one Martian year, ends primary mission

The six-wheeled rover completed its primary mission of determining if Mars was ever habitable. Now, the robotic vehicle is on a very long Martian road trip.

Drought: Getty drains ponds, fountains to save water

Fountains and reflecting pools at the Getty's two campuses were drained this week in response to the worsening drought conditions in California.

'Trenching' can make or break quake zone development

But the practice of digging deep holes to pinpoint evidence of past quakes isn't always conclusive.