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

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.

Future of Water: A trip to the water-wise LA of 2040

In the L.A. of 25 years hence, look for "atomizing" shower heads, "smart" water meters, and homes that drink in rain water like a sponge. Don't forget the water-friendly tacos.

Future of water: How to make a drought-friendly taco (and a call for your recipes)

Are you a drought-friendly foodie? Send us your best recipes using the hashtag #CAwater2040.

Future of Water: How hot, dry and crowded will CA get?

Over the next 25 years, California will add about 8 million people while getting warmer and drier due to climate change. What will this mean for the future of water?

Charting Niño 3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies

An El Niño occurs when water in a large swath of the Pacific Ocean along the equator heats up more than average. This is measured by looking at sea surface temperature anomalies, or fluctuations in ocean temperature, in key parts of the ocean. This chart displays sea surface temperature fluctuations in the Niño 3.4 region during strong El Niños dating back to 1992.

Can 3-D printers help stem spread of an invasive beetle?

The invasive shot hole borer is killing trees across Southern California but a new device made with a 3-D printer may help scientists figure out how to stop it.

Ceres' 'lonely mountain' still mysterious in new images

The dwarf planet Ceres has been full of surprises since NASA's Dawn spacecraft started photographing it earlier this year. It remains a mystery in new pictures.

Rural areas, fish and birds in danger if drought persists

A study from the Public Policy Institute of California found that if the drought lasts another three years, rural communities, wildlife and forests will suffer most.

P-32: Mountain lion who crossed the 101 killed crossing I-5

P-32, the only male puma known to successfully leave the Santa Monica Mountains and enter a larger forested area to the north was killed by a vehicle Monday morning.

Forget El Niño, the 'PDO' could be the real drought buster

A climate pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation seems to be shifting into a warm phase which is linked with years of wet weather, but it's not sure thing.

El Niño vs. the Blob: Which will win out this winter?

You may have heard a strong El Niño could bring lots of rain this winter, but there’s another weather pattern in the region that might mess things up.

California says water use fell by 27 percent in June

Data released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board shows 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets.

Earthquake early warning system gets $4 million from USGS

The new funds will go toward upgrading and building around 150 new seismic sensors that can detect a quake as it starts and send warnings to nearby cities.

'Next MacGyver' contest seeks new show to inspire female engineers

The competition attracted 2,000 entries. Judges will pick five winners who will be paired with producers to further develop their ideas.