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

Drought: Sierra Mountain snowpack 'off to a good start'

California is still in a severe drought, but this week's storm left the Sierra Mountain snowpack with a decent amount of water and more is expected.

Calif. drought is the worst in 1,200 years, new study says

A new analysis found that California's current three year drought is the driest period since the 9th century. Drier years are expected as the region heats up.

New research explains why movies make us feel strong emotions

Movies can make us jump out of our seats, and now a new field of research looks at how these flickering images create such intense responses.

How recently burned hills prone to mudslides recover

Dirt-digging animals help start recovery after flames are extinguished but ground-anchoring plants take years to re-establish.

Will this rain end Southern California's fire season?

Southern California fire agencies have been on high alert for nearly two years but this week's rain may be enough to finally reduce the burn risk in the region.

What is artificial snow actually made of?

The fake flurries seen at malls and theme parks in Southern California are actually tiny bubbles made by creating a blend of surfactants and water.

'Invasion' of rare varied thrushes in Southern California

Scientists aren't sure why the robin-sized bird with black and yellow stripes has travelled this far south, but bird watchers are excited either way.

Got an experiment for Mars? NASA wants your ideas

The space agency is sending another rover to Mars in 2020 and is inviting citizen scientists to turn dead weight needed to balance the lander into an experiment.

'Virtual veteran' prepares social workers to engage real thing

USC researchers have developed a computer simulated patient that helps caregivers practice the skills they need to counsel veterans.

State map shows active fault under Millennium Hollywood site

A new California state map projects an active earthquake fault in the southwestern corner of a Hollywood property where developers hope to build a pair of skyscrapers.

Ticket holders still ready to ride with Virgin Galactic

According to the company, less than 3% of the more than 700 ticket holders have asked for a refund.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crash leaves 1 dead, 1 injured

One person was killed and one injured when Virgin Galactic's experimental space tourism craft SpaceShipTwo crashed in the desert Friday.

Radioactive material detected in LA, Long Beach harbors

Scientists found "pervasive" amounts of Iodine-131 in the waters off the ports. They cite a nearby water reclamation plant as the likely source.

2 JPL experiments lost in Antares explosion

A vapor tracking satellite and an experiment to see how water changes in zero gravity were among the cargo lost when the Antares rocket exploded Tuesday.

Unmanned space station rocket Antares explodes at liftoff

A commercial supply ship bound for the International Space Station has exploded moments after liftoff. The unmanned rocket blew up just six seconds after liftoff.