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

'Next MacGyver' contest hopes to inspire female engineers

It's believed the TV show MacGyver inspired young men to become problem-solving engineers. A new contest hopes to launch a show that will do the same for women.

Scientists fight to save UC Irvine trees from invasive bug

A pest known as the polyphagous shot hole borer is attacking hundreds of trees at UC Irvine, but scientists from around the region are rallying to save them.

LA says developers must dig for faults in quake-prone areas

State maps normally dictate building rules around certain faults, but with many areas still unmapped, the city of L.A. is putting its own rules in place.

How to find a 'Pluto party' or host your own Plutopalooza

Here is how you can watch live as New Horizons beams back the first signals after its historic encounter with Pluto.

No active fault under site of proposed towers, says LA

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety concluded that the fault under the site of two planned skyscrapers in Hollywood is dormant.

Pluto probe suffers glitch days before reaching its target

Engineers scrambled over the Fourth of July weekend to fix a computer problem in the New Horizons probe as makes its historic trip to Pluto.

Your idle computer could help scientists study the drought

Researchers from Oregon State University want to use a sophisticated computer program to identify at the factors behind the current drought, and they need your help.

Fourth of July fireworks linked to spike in air pollution

A new study shows that air pollution increases dramatically on the Fourth of July, likely due to fireworks. However, the uptick is short-lived.

4 things to do when lightning strikes at the beach

A monsoonal system in northern Mexico and Arizona will bring hot, humid weather and a chance of thunderstorms. Beachgoers should be aware of the potential for lightning strikes.

Urban trees dying in drought. What you need to know

As the drought continues, many mature trees in California are showing signs of drought stress. Here is what you need to know to keep your trees healthy.

Tar balls in Long Beach likely from an oil spill

While there natural oil seeps off the coast of Los Angeles, they aren't known to produce large amounts of tar balls like the kind seen in the area recently.

How to reunite your family after a real San Andreas quake

Setting up a communication plan can help families check in and meet up when a major disaster cripples the phone lines.

Astronaut baths and other water saving tips from NASA

Californians looking to save water during the drought might get inspiration from astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

AP: Increased oil production linked to leaks (updated)

The oil pipeline leak that was detected on Tuesday reflects a troubling trend in the nation's infrastructure.

5 tips for putting your lawn on 'life support'

Lawn researchers and experts say the drought doesn't necessarily have to mean the death of your lawn.