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

State agency prepares to make a decision on Hollywood Fault

State geologists say they only had limited access to important trenches around the Hollywood fault, a claim that developers dispute.

Rim Fire: How the drought is helping charred lands recover

The lack of heavy rains has allowed fledgling plants to take root and thrive in the 400 square miles torched by one of California's biggest fires.

Lab Notes: how anti-anxiety drugs make fish live longer and more

KPCC science reporter Sanden Totten explains why mood-altering drugs can wreck ecosystems, why celebrity endorsements don't help charities and more.

NASA rerouting Mars orbiters to avoid comet collision

A massive comet will fly by Mars on Oct. 19. NASA is using evasive moves to ensure none of its spacecraft are damaged by comet dust traveling faster than a bullet.

Can a privatized earthquake warning system be cheaper, faster?

State law calls for public-private partnership on quake early warning system. Trade secrets, different approaches complicate cooperation.

Earthquake early warnings: Rift forms in public, private efforts

State law calls for public-private partnership on quake early warning system. Trade secrets, different approaches complicate cooperation.

New kelp tests will show if Fukushima radiation has reached West Coast

The rubbery sea plant absorbs radioactive isotopes, and tests so far haven't found evidence that tainted water from Fukushima has reached North America.

4 things to do when lightning strikes at the beach

The weather system that produced Sunday's freak lightning strikes is expected to persist through Wednesday.

Why Huntington Beach has such reliably good waves

From the direction it faces, to its latitude on the globe, Huntington Beach is set up perfectly to get great waves.

El Niño's warm waters bring exotic sea life to California

Hammerhead sharks, Bryde's whales, needlefish and other rare creatures are showing up off the coast of California. Scientists think El Niño might be responsible.

Calif. may see more big quakes, fewer overall says USGS

According to a new map released by the U.S. Geological Survey, California is at greater risk of less frequent but very powerful quakes.

Lab Notes: Sleep and a full moon, motivating yourself and more

Looking for new ways to motivate yourself? Want to know about the REAL paleo diet? And might you be part werewolf? It's time for our regular science segment Lab Notes.

First Person: Dr. Sophia Momand is driven to help the homeless

Momand's work with the homeless is partly driven by her Muslim faith, which stresses the need to actively help others.

New fossil reveals 4-winged dinosaur ... that could fly?

Researchers say the fossil also suggests that some dinosaurs had impressive foot-long tail feathers used for complicated aerial moves.

One way trip to Mars? These Californians say 'bring it on'

Netherlands-based Mars One plans to send four people on a one way trip to colonize Mars in 2024. Several Southern Californians have applied to go.