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

NOAA: Fire risk in California to jump 5-fold

A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found climate change is increasing the chances of large fires in California.

LA will use less imported H20, thanks to new water treatment

The SoCal Water Replenishment District is building a new treatment facility that will allow the district to end its reliance on imported water by 2018.

Smog declined in Southern California over the last year

High smog days declined over the last year, but the number of days exceeding the federal limit will likely jump in 2016 as more stringent standards go into effect.

SoCal cities lagging on water savings hustle to catch up

More than 30 cities across Southern California are behind on their state-ordered water savings goal, and they will need to make substantial cuts to catch up.

Controversial study claims 99.9 percent chance of major LA quake in 3 years

A study from researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory claims there is a 99.9 percent chance of a major quake in the next three years, but the findings are controversial.

Shake Out: 6 steps to quake-proof your home

Homes can be a deadly place during an earthquake even when they don't collapse. Here are a few tips to reduce the chances you'll be injured by household objects.

Saturn's moon to get a close shave from Cassini probe

In October, NASA's Cassini probe will make two flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus, one of which will take the spacecraft a mere 30 miles above the surface.

Photo Quiz: California or Mars — can you tell them apart?

California is dry, but not as dry as Mars. Sometimes though, the two places look eerily similar. Take our quiz to see if you can tell them apart.

El Niño: Weakening trade winds could mean heavy SoCal rains

Trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are weakening, which is helping the El Niño pattern gain strength, according to the latest data from NOAA.

Recent rains didn't cut Southern California's fire risk

Despite some areas getting an inch of precipitation, fire risk across the region remains high. Things will get worse as temperatures rise this week.

Santa Ana winds may increase during El Niño

Some El Niño winters may be correlated with more Santa Ana wind events, according to a new analysis from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Chinese goods have higher carbon footprint than US ones

A study from UC Irvine found that Chinese factories emit more carbon to make certain products than almost any other country in the world.

Supermoon eclipse: What is it and where can you watch it?

Sunday Sept. 27, the moon will undergo a total lunar eclipse. It will also be slightly closer in its orbit, making it look larger than usual.

LA area has highest urban heat island effect in California

The urban heat islands effect occurs when buildings and streets trap heat. A new map shows that this effect is stronger in L.A. than anywhere else in California.

Scientists hope new bird maps will help protect threatened species

A new project from UCLA aims to use genetic information to help map the migration patterns of birds so conservationists can do more to protect threatened species.