Sanden Totten Science Reporter

Staff Headshots
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

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.

Wasps, slugs and dinos! Pick the coolest new species of 2015

From a psychedelic sea slug to a cartwheeling spider, many interesting new species were catalogued over the last year. Vote for your favorite.

The psychology of why some people aren't saving water

A majority of Californians think water agencies should do more to save water during the drought, but many feel they can't sacrifice more themselves.

Why does the sun make some people sneeze?

If you've ever looked at the sun and suddenly sneezed, you are not alone. About 10 percent of the population has a strange condition called photic sneeze reflex.

Nepal quake: Magnitude-7.3 aftershock slams region

The region was already devastated by a magnitude-7.8 temblor on April 25 that killed more than 8,000 people. The new quake destroyed buildings and triggered landslides.

JPL technology helps find survivors in Nepal quake rubble

A JPL device called FINDER is helping responders in Nepal locate victims trapped under rubble by scanning for their heartbeats.

More lesions, tumors showing up on dolphins in Santa Monica Bay

It's believed pollution in the bay is weakening the animals' immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to lesions and even deformities.

Are people feeling squeezed by the drought yet?

Water awareness is key to meeting new state-mandated goals, but not everyone is feeling the effects of the drought personally yet.

Space radiation could harm astronauts' brains on long trips

Radiation similar to that found in space damaged the brains of mice in a recent UC Irvine study. The animals showed memory and learning impairments.

How feasible is Gov. Brown's new carbon cutting goal?

Brown issued an executive order asking that by 2030, the state emit 40% less carbon than it did in 1990. That will be tough but possible, experts say.

Like Nepal, LA sits on sediment easily shaken by a quake

L.A. and Nepal sit near different types of faults but they share a similar type of underground geology that is particularly susceptible to strong shaking.

5 Mercury facts to honor the end of the MESSENGER mission

To honor the end of NASA's MESSENGER mission, here are some interesting tidbits about the planet this spacecraft studied.

LADWP considering more tiered water rates, despite ruling

Despite a recent appeals court ruling in San Juan Capistrano, LADWP plans to continue looking at expanding its tiered water pricing system.

How Santa Barbara became a water miser

The city of Santa Barbara cut water use by 22 percent over the last two years, making it a leader in the state. Now, the community is gearing up to save even more.

How much water are we using inside our homes?

The state has ordered communities across California to reduce water consumption by anywhere from 10 percent to 35 percent. Where in the home can we curb water use?