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

NorCal reservoirs fill up while SoCal's lag behind

Major reservoirs up north like Lake Shasta and Lake Orville are close to their historical average. Meanwhile, the reservoirs in Southern California are still low.

After equipment woes, NASA mission to Mars rescheduled for 2018

The mission, which would send a lander to detect marsquakes and study the planet's interior, has been delayed because a pivotal piece of equipment was flawed.

The hunt for gravitational waves is moving to space

LISA Pathfinder is a new mission to test technology that could one day pave the way for gravitational wave detectors in space.

Did Seattle steal Southern California's El Niño?

Weather watchers predicted this year's El Niño would soak Southern California and leave the Pacific Northwest dry. Instead, the opposite happened. What gives?

Help kids science podcast 'Brains On!' hit its Kickstarter goal

On the Brains On! podcast, kids (and adults) learn about and get engaged with the world around them. Help Brains On! grow by contributing to its $48,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Exactly how much methane did the Porter Ranch leak release?

Researchers estimate that the leak spewed more than 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas into the air, which would make this the nation's single largest methane release.

Scientists scurry to save salamanders

There's a fungus among us and it's threatening California's salamander populations. Here's why that's a big deal.

Virgin Galactic rolls out new space tourism rocket plane

The space line founded by Sir Richard Branson unveiled the craft Friday afternoon at California's Mojave Air & Space Port, where it was assembled.

Snowpack dips below average as dry spell hits Nor Cal

But scientists say extended dry periods are common in Sierra winters even during El Niños.

New app turns your phone into earthquake sensor

An app called MyShake allows smartphones to detect earthquakes and send valuable scientific data to researchers. It may one day also give early warning alerts.

The SoCal schools that helped vindicate Einstein

Southern California schools -- Caltech, Cal State Fullerton and USC -- were among the institutions that helped detect gravitational waves for the first time.

Confirmation gravitational waves exist: why its a big deal

The ripples in space and time have finally been proven to be real after a century-long search. Now how do they factor into our understanding of the cosmos?

LADWP will apply for reduction in drought conservation goals

The state's largest water supplier says it should qualify for a reduction of 2 percentage points in its drought conservation goal based on new rules from the state.

How CA's seismic building codes compare to Taiwan's

Experts say damage from Taiwan's recent quake would have been worse if not for construction guidelines known as the Uniform Building Codes. CA uses similar codes.

6 places to go when everyone else is watching the Super Bowl

Take advantage of one of the few times when the roads will be empty and you can go anywhere. Sanden Totten is here to help.