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

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.

New app turns your phone into earthquake sensor

An app called MyShake allows smartphones to detect earthquakes and send valuable scientific data to researchers. It may one day also give early warning alerts.

The SoCal schools that helped vindicate Einstein

Southern California schools -- Caltech, Cal State Fullerton and USC -- were among the institutions that helped detect gravitational waves for the first time.

Scientists confirm the existence of gravitational waves

The ripples in space and time have finally been proven to be real after a century-long search. Now how do they factor into our understanding of the cosmos?

LADWP will apply for reduction in drought conservation goals

The state's largest water supplier says it should qualify for a reduction of 2 percentage points in its drought conservation goal based on new rules from the state.

How CA's seismic building codes compare to Taiwan's

Experts say damage from Taiwan's recent quake would have been worse if not for construction guidelines known as the Uniform Building Codes. CA uses similar codes.

6 places to go when everyone else is watching the Super Bowl

Take advantage of one of the few times when the roads will be empty and you can go anywhere. Sanden Totten is here to help.

Will CA hit its goal of cutting water use by 25 percent?

California is still on track to meet its overall goal of cutting water use by 25 percent, but just barely. The public needs to save a good deal more by March 1st.

California misses water savings goal for 3rd straight month

The cumulative total of 25.5 percent doesn’t leave much room for more back-sliding if the state is to hit the governor's goal.

Toxins found in seafood worldwide, study shows

A new study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found that fish around the globe show varying levels of toxic chemicals.

Meet the hippo-like creature that roamed ancient California

A fossil found near an Orange County freeway is shedding new light on a creature known as a desmostylian. It's a hippo-like mammal that lived on the California coast.

Planet 9: What should its name be if it's found?

At the moment, this new planet is still a theory. It won’t be named until scientists can confirm its existence with pictures.