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

NASA: Missing climate heat not in deep ocean

In the last decade, average surface temperatures have not risen as fast as scientists expected. A new study from JPL says the missing heat is not in the deep ocean.

Science of Now: Why does LA always heat up in the fall?

It turns out that the cooler weather in the rest of the country creates the conditions that result in a dry, hot fall for Southern California.

'Bionic eye' implant from USC gives some sight to blind patients

People with a rare form of blindness called retinitis pigmentosa can benefit from a new eye implant. It was developed at USC and helps restore some vision.

Drought: Studies disagree on climate change link; snow falls in Tahoe!

Academic studies released Monday disagreed that California's record drought was linked to climate change, with two finding against such a link and a third — from Stanford University — finding a connection.

Map: Is your roof adding to LA's 'heat island'?

Reflective roofs are energy efficient and can help cool your home and neighborhood, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Recently observed planet will help the search for alien life

Scientists recently found a planet 120 light years away with clear skies. This allowed them to test a method of examining a distant atmosphere through telescope.

Meet NASA's in-house team of conceptual artists

The AXS Festival celebrates the intersection of art and science. Among the works on display is a sculpture from artists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Lab Notes: Smart mice, a giant squid and the physics of space trash

Every week, there are plenty of weird developments in the world of science, and KPCC's Sanden Totten joins us to explain on our regular segment – Lab Notes.

New Santa Ana wind prediction tool could help alert residents to wildfires

The Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, announced Wednesday, will classify the fire threat potential of the notoriously hot, dry and strong "devil wind" so familiar to area residents.

Heat wave: LA breaks record again for energy demand

The National Weather Service says the region should expect "dangerously hot weather" Tuesday as thousands remain without power.

Blue Moon Diamond comes to LA County Natural History Museum

The Blue Moon Diamond, an internally flawless 12-carat diamond, will be on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County through Jan. 6, 2015.

Mars Curiosity team responds to harsh criticism from NASA panel

A routine press conference turned heated as Curiosity scientists defended the rover's new goals after a senior review panel lambasted parts of the mission.

Science Fiction to Science Fact, or 'Why is Kirk still using a flip phone?'

TV and movies give scientists, thinkers, and dreamers a place to ignore hard fast scientific rules and see what else is possible.

Half of California's bird species threatened by climate change

A new Audubon report shows how climate change could affect the ranges of 170 bird species in California by the end of the century.

Blue whales in California nearly recovered from whaling

A new study finds California's blue whale population has stabilized to pre-whaling levels.