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

Video: NASA launches MAVEN mission to explore Mars' atmosphere

The MAVEN satellite launched Monday and will probe whether solar winds have been slowly chipping away at Mars' atmosphere. Watch the launch live.

How Typhoon Haiyan became so powerful

Haiyan is being described as a "super storm." Several factors led to its powerful rains and wind.

The science of fireballs and shooting stars

Most meteors are created by debris left by comets and asteroids. They can produce impressive light shows that give scientists clues about what they are made of.

What does it take to map an earthquake fault?

How do you map something you can't see? That's the question geologists are facing as they try to pin-point the location of a major earthquake fault in Hollywood.

'Orange Slime' use in fighting fires debated (photos)

California uses more fire retardant on average than any other state, but some environmental activists say the substance is ineffective and dangerous to wildlife.

Who is liable if a building collapses during a quake?

The Los Angeles Times recently found that more than 1,000 older concrete buildings are at risk for collapse during a major quake.

NASA helps write the rules for private drone use

In 2015, the FAA will open the skies to limited use of private drones. NASA is helping that agency develop flight safety guidelines for these unmanned vehicles.

10 years of Disney Hall: From 'Temple of Doom' to LA icon

The eye-catching concert hall celebrates its 10th anniversary in October. Initially met with skepticism, the building is now considered a major success.

LA activists continue to recruit for Obamacare

A Republican-led effort in Congress hopes to delay Obamacare for one year. However, LA activists are undeterred in their efforts to promote medical insurance.

Robert Stebbins, renowned field biologist, dies at 98

Author of the definitive guide to California reptiles and amphibians dies at the age of 98, shortly after having a new species named in his honor.

Who needs snakes? LAX has 'legless lizards' (Photos)

Researchers once thought a single species of 'legless lizard' lived in California, but a new survey found five distinct species spread through the region.

Downey hopes to highlight its role in space history

The city of Downey was once a hub of America's efforts to explore space, but few in the community southeast of Los Angeles remember those glory days.

Blue-footed Booby causes a flutter in LA (PHOTOS)

An unusually high number of Blue-footed Boobies have been spotted in LA County recently, giving local bird watchers a chance to see an uncommon species close to home.

Voyager: What does deep space sound like? Have a listen

Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday, and it sent back an audio postcard of its trip across the threshold.

Tracking California's 'Super Salamanders' (Slideshow)

Researchers try to save the California Tiger Salamander from an encroaching transplant.