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

Pregnant “Polly,” the pre-historic plesiosaur, at the L.A. Natural History Museum

The pre-historic plesiosaur: it looked like the quintessential sea monster. It had a long neck, flippers and fangs. Think of the Loch Ness monster, and you are on the right track. But a paper published today in the journal "Science" says these ancient beasts may have actually been social creatures and doting mothers. The research is based on a fossil of a pregnant plesiosaur that's part of the new dinosaur exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Reporter Sanden Totten paid the specimen a visit.

Skid Row's kids put on a show for William and Kate

William and Catherine are back in Britain after a quick visit to Los Angeles. During the royal couple’s three-day stay, they met with A-list celebrities, politicians and business leaders.

Royals William and Kate visit Skid Row

The big news in Los Angeles celebrity gossip this weekend was, of course, the visit of Prince William and Princess Catherine. The Royal Couple were spotted in Hancock Park. They kissed on a polo field in Santa Barbara. They hobnobbed with Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lopez at a Hollywood party. And on Sunday, they visited Inner-City Arts, a school that teaches art to kids living on L.A.'s Skid Row.

William and Kate arrive in LA

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge touched down at LAX Friday afternoon to kick off a whirlwind weekend of meetings, charity events and photo opportunities. The couple were greeted by Gov. Jerry Brown and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The secrets of spit

Saliva might seem gross when the stuff unintentionally flies out of your mouth, or you see the person sleeping on the seat next to you drooling, but researchers are finding new uses for saliva that could open the way to big changes in the world of medicine.

Did Jamie Oliver's show spark a 'Food Revolution' in LA?

After well-publicized conflicts with the Los Angeles Unified School District, reality television star Jamie Oliver wrapped up the second season of his show, "Food Revolution," last week. Did the program have an impact --or even pose the right ideas -- about how to improve nutrition in L.A. schools?

How to spot a psychopath

British journalist Jon Ronson is obsessed with obsessives. He's best known for writing the book behind the George Clooney film "The Men Who Stare At Goats." In his latest book, Jon Ronson has turned his own obsessive eye toward psychopaths. The book is called "The Psychopath Test."

Paper Tigers: What happens to the kids of tiger moms and dads when they grow up?

Author Amy Chua raised eyebrows earlier this year with her autobiography of motherhood, "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." The book suggests strict parenting can help kids get into Ivy League schools. But what happens to those kids when the test taking is over? That's the question New York magazine writer Wesley Yang set out to answer in his article, "Paper Tigers."

The sad story of the woman who brought us Mother's Day

You might think Mother's Day was an invention of the floral industry or greeting card business. But the holiday as we know it was started by a woman name Anna Jarvis.

The woman who launched Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. You might be planning to send a card or a dozen roses to Mom. If so, you’re not alone. Mother’s Day has become one of the most commercial holidays of the year.

Happy birthday Hubble telescope

On Sunday the Hubble Space Telescope turns 21-years-old. To mark the occasion, NASA is releasing new photos from Hubble’s camera. The latest image - called “Rose” - depicts two galaxies that together look like a flower on a long stem. It’s one of hundreds of thousands of pictures taken by a telescope that almost didn’t fulfill its mission.

2011: The year of the pothole?

If the roads in Los Angeles seem worse than usual, it’s because they are. The city’s Bureau of Street Services says this year is shaping up to be one of the worst years for potholes in recent memory.

Before it hits the Martian dirt, the latest rover is kept very, very clean

After a two-year delay, NASA engineers are putting the final touches on the next Mars rover. The six-wheeled vehicle, dubbed Curiosity, cost rough $2.5 billion and will launch later this year. In the meantime, the rover is kept very, very clean.

The latest in medical marijuana paraphernalia on display at HempCon 2011

The third HempCon came to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. It’s an event that brings together businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry. Convention organizers say it’s the largest one yet, with close to 150 vendors.

Same-sex married couples face complicated tax issues, new tax laws

Ready or not, it's income tax season. Time to call up your accountant or load the latest edition of TurboTax. But for same-sex married couples in California, tax time isn't that easy. New federal rulings place this group in a legal gray zone, with complicated returns and lots of unanswered questions.