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

You'll need a ticket to visit JPL's popular open house

Last year, so many space fans flocked to JPL's annual Open House that some were turned away. Now, the space lab is using a ticket system to help manage the crowds.

Why sending fungus to space could help us on Earth

USC and NASA are teaming up to send fungus to space in hopes that the harsh conditions there will jolt it into producing compounds that could be used in medicine.

Get ready for another summer of SoCal drought

Despite rain and snow up north, Southern California faces another summer of hot, dry, drought-like conditions. Farmers and water managers are already preparing.

Marines delay plans to relocate Twentynine Palms desert tortoises

Environmentalists worried the Marine's plan to relocate desert tortoises in the Mojave desert would endanger the animals. Now the Marines are delaying any action.

Geckos could solve space's stickiest problem

A Spider-Man-like adhesive inspired by geckos and developed at JPL could help NASA where glue and tape fail — the icy, cold vacuum of space.

SoCal drought still severe but NorCal gets wet

Winter rains helped ease drought conditions in Northern California, but the southern half of the state remains in severe drought, according to NOAA's spring forecast.

NorCal reservoirs fill up while SoCal's lag behind

Major reservoirs up north like Lake Shasta and Lake Orville are close to their historical average. Meanwhile, the reservoirs in Southern California are still low.

After equipment woes, NASA mission to Mars rescheduled for 2018

The mission, which would send a lander to detect marsquakes and study the planet's interior, has been delayed because a pivotal piece of equipment was flawed.

The hunt for gravitational waves is moving to space

LISA Pathfinder is a new mission to test technology that could one day pave the way for gravitational wave detectors in space.

Did Seattle steal Southern California's El Niño?

Weather watchers predicted this year's El Niño would soak Southern California and leave the Pacific Northwest dry. Instead, the opposite happened. What gives?

Help kids science podcast 'Brains On!' hit its Kickstarter goal

On the Brains On! podcast, kids (and adults) learn about and get engaged with the world around them. Help Brains On! grow by contributing to its $48,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Exactly how much methane did the Porter Ranch leak release?

Researchers estimate that the leak spewed more than 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas into the air, which would make this the nation's single largest methane release.

Scientists scurry to save salamanders

There's a fungus among us and it's threatening California's salamander populations. Here's why that's a big deal.

Virgin Galactic rolls out new space tourism rocket plane

The space line founded by Sir Richard Branson unveiled the craft Friday afternoon at California's Mojave Air & Space Port, where it was assembled.

Snowpack dips below average as dry spell hits Nor Cal

But scientists say extended dry periods are common in Sierra winters even during El Niños.