Sanden Totten

Host, Brains On

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

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?

La Cañada among LA's worst when it comes to water use

La Cañada Flintridge used the most water per capita in L.A. County last month, according to a new report. Residents will need to start saving water soon.

How brain pathways are similar to airline flight patterns

New research yields a very complete picture of how mouse brains are wired. The findings could help researchers one day better understand the human mind as well.

Colorado River snowpack: better than Sierra's but still worrying

Southern California now gets about two-thirds of its water supply from the Colorado, but such deliveries are unsustainable if drought the in the Rockies continues.

Famous California sea otter dies after shark bite

Olive first made headlines in February 2009, when she was found covered in oil on Sunset State Beach.

30 new species of fly discovered in Los Angeles

Researchers sifted through tens of thousands of samples of insects to identity several new species of small fly living around Los Angeles.

New K-12 science standards emphasize hands-on learning

Schools have until 2017 to implement the new science standards, but a handful of districts, including Palm Springs Unified, are already piloting the new approach.

New 'Tsunami Playbooks' to help counties avoid disaster

The California Geological Survey and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services are creating tailor-made guidebooks to advise costal regions on dealing with tsunamis.