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

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.

The Mars Spirit rover, 10 years later

The Mars Spirit rover made some big discoveries on Mars, but the mission almost failed right out of the gate and suffered many setbacks along the way.

FAQ: How will San Onofre store its spent nuclear fuel?

SoCal Edison announced Friday it will shut down the reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant and store the spent nuclear material on site. What does that mean for you?

California scientists feeling sequestration cuts

California is known as a leader in science. By one estimate, the state could lose $180 million in research funding in critical fields.

Photos: The top 10 amazing new species discovered in 2012

A glow-in-the-dark cockroach and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just two of the top-10 newly discovered species selected as the most fascinating life forms.

New prostate cancer test uses urine instead of blood

A new prostate cancer test under development at UC Irvine involves urinating on a stick. The stick picks up a protein strongly associated with prostate cancer.

What's the difference between .08 and .05 blood alcohol levels?

The NTSB recommends that states lower the threshold for drunk driving from .08 percent to .05 percent. How much of a difference does that reduction make?

Brain transplant: UCLA's LONI neuro imaging lab moves to USC

UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging will be relocating to USC this fall. The move comes as USC is looking to become the world's leading research institution.

Discovery Science Center expanding into San Fernando Valley

The Discovery Science Center will be moving into the former home of the Children's Museum of Los Angeles at the Hansen Dam Recreation Area.

Springs Fire: Cal Fire has spent $170M of $220M emergency firefighting fund

California is expecting a very active fire season. Battling those blazes will take a lot of people, a lot of equipment and ultimately a lot of money.

Body image obsession may be related to brain wiring

A study from UCLA suggests that extreme body image obsession may be related to faulty brain wiring. The discovery could help inform new kinds of treatment.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo passes first rocket test

The space tourism company says the vehicle hit Mach 1.2 and reached 56,000 feet in its first rocket-powered test over the Mojave Desert.