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

King tides, El Niño could bring 7-foot swells to SoCal

El Niño is causing ocean water to expand and altering weather patterns, increasing winds blowing toward the California coast. All of this is raising average ocean water levels.

SpaceX faces more challenges now that it has landed a rocket

The company will need to inspect, refurbish, test and retest its reusable rockets before they can be part of a regular fleet of space vehicles.

California ahead of curve as Clean Power Plan takes effect

New rules taking effect mandate that all states meet new goals for cutting carbon emissions; California is on track to surpass its target.

Maybe Martian gullies weren't made by liquid water

French researchers suggest that small valleys on Martian hills might be the result of carbon dioxide gas rather than flowing water.

Cataloguing the Mojave as hedge against climate change

Researchers are trying to catalog everything in the Mojave Desert in order to one day recreate it in a warehouse -- a blue print to fix problems arising from climate change.

San Bernardino shooting: What we know about shooters Syed Farook, Tashfeen Malik

The motive of the shooting by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik remains unknown, but a picture of the couple has started to develop. Here's what we know.

Lawyer: Shooter's family shocked, baffled by attack

Syed Farook's family lawyer says nothing seemed out of the ordinary when the shooting suspect saw his family on Sunday.

Climate change dogs efforts to save SoCal valley oaks

A lone crusader's love of valley oaks in Cheeseboro Canyon finds him planting and nursing saplings in land dried out from years of drought and above average temperatures.

Grants for quake-retrofits available to more homes around LA

State funds will help 1,000 homeowners pay for a critical quake retrofit. It's an expansion of a program aimed at shoring up certain types of single family homes.

El Niño: What SoCal can expect

Given the hype around this winter's El Niño, you might be anticipating three months of non-stop rain. But historically, even a wet winter in Southern California isn't all gray.

Upgrade helps stars shine brighter at Griffith's planetarium

The $2.5 million upgrade to the Observatory's planetarium is just the latest in a long line of improvements to the famed dome theater.

Groups concerned as SoCal water agency eyes Delta land

The board for the Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District is considering buying land in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Some fear a water grab.

NOAA: Fire risk in California to jump 5-fold

A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found climate change is increasing the chances of large fires in California.

LA will use less imported H20, thanks to new water treatment

The SoCal Water Replenishment District is building a new treatment facility that will allow the district to end its reliance on imported water by 2018.

Smog declined in Southern California over the last year

High smog days declined over the last year, but the number of days exceeding the federal limit will likely jump in 2016 as more stringent standards go into effect.