Sanden Totten Host, Brains On

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Contact Sanden Totten

Sanden Totten is a host and co-producer of American Public Media's Brains On!, a podcast for kids and curious adults about the scientific mysteries of the universe. Prior to that he was KPCC's Science Reporter, where he covered everything from space exploration and medical technology to endangered species and the latest earthquake research.

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

Water regulations ease, but drought still dominates in California

Water regulations are easing up across California, but 96 percent of the state is still drier than average and a developing La Niña pattern could make things worse.

Brown orders permanent state water cutbacks

Proposed drought regulations come as nearly 90 percent of California is still in drought conditions, despite El Niño storms that have left a healthy snowpack and brimming reservoirs.

Watch Mercury's transit across the sun

There are several ways you can safely watch Monday morning's transit of Mercury, from a live feed on your computer to public events with solar telescopes.

Can SpaceX repeat last month's landing?

Now that SpaceX successfully landed a rocket on an ocean barge, pressure is on to repeat the feat. The company hopes to refurbish these vehicles and use them again.

How El Niño may have amped up fire risk in So Cal

Southern California didn't get enough rain to significantly increase the moisture levels of trees and bushes, but there was enough to sprout easily ignited grasses.

What El Niño is teaching us about climate change

Warm ocean waters and unusually high tides offer scientists a glimpse into how climate change could affect coastal areas.

Greenland's glaciers likely melting faster than thought

A new study from UC Irvine and JPL shows Greenland's glaciers might be more vulnerable to melting because of deep, warm ocean currents.

Lizards, snails and flies, oh my! LA gets new urban wildlife center

The 103-year-old Natural History Museum is shifting its focus to study urban wildlife — and it wants the public to help by becoming "citizen scientists."

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.