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

Mysterious ring fossils examined with help from social media

Geologists at UC Riverside turned to the social media site Reddit to help come up with possible explanations for bizarre, half-a-billion-year-old fossils.

Record heat destroys annual California poppy bloom

A large portion of the blossoms at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve were baked to death this past week as record heat hit in the area.

How to stay hydrated during Sunday's marathon

The L.A. Marathon's medical director suggests drinking three to six ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during a marathon, slightly more on hot days.

Underground hot springs on Saturn moon? Study suggests yes

If confirmed, it would make the moon Enceladus the only other known body in the solar system besides Earth where hot water and rocks interact underground.

Fukushima radiation helps researchers study ocean currents

Scientists tracking radioactive isotopes from Fukushima are getting a clearer picture of how sea water cycles through the Pacific basin.

Mars Curiosity rover getting back to work after glitch

JPL engineers think a faulty circuit in the rover's drill bit is responsible for the malfunction that idled the machine last month. It should resume its work soon.

LA's fog disappearing due to urban heat

Over the last 60 years urban areas of Southern California have lost significant amounts of fog due to the heat created by paved roads and buildings.

Mini Moon: 5 cool facts about the year's smallest full moon

Thursday's full moon will be the smallest of 2015. It's been dubbed the "mini moon," in response to all the excitement about previous so-called supermoons.

Endangered Catalina Island foxes, on the rebound, face a new enemy: Us

The island foxes were once plagued by a virus that nearly wiped out the population. Now, as their population has recovered, the greatest threat to the species are humans.

Election 2015: The science behind increasing voter turnout

From public shaming to cash prizes, there are many research-backed ideas for improving voter turnout, which is expected to be low for Tuesday's primary election.

5 new NASA missions tracking changes on Planet Earth

From wind and rain to clouds and carbon, a suite of new NASA instruments is helping track Earth's weather and climate.

Swallows not returning to San Juan Capistrano mission

A researcher working with the mission is proposing a new plan to build a wall of fake plaster nests in hopes of luring the famous birds back.

Superbug FAQ: Where did it come from? What's the risk?

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center says seven patients have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant superbug that was transmitted between October and January.

Green sea turtles find unlikely home in San Gabriel River

Green sea turtles typically live in warm water, but a group appears to be thriving in an urban river. Outflows from nearby power plants seem to be helping them.

Megadrought likely in next 100 years as CO2 levels rise

A NASA study predicts that if emissions of CO2 continue to rise at current rate, there will be an 80% chance of a decades long drought by the end of the century.