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

Controversial study claims 99.9 percent chance of major LA quake in 3 years

A study from researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory claims there is a 99.9 percent chance of a major quake in the next three years, but the findings are controversial.

Shake Out: 6 steps to quake-proof your home

Homes can be a deadly place during an earthquake even when they don't collapse. Here are a few tips to reduce the chances you'll be injured by household objects.

Saturn's moon to get a close shave from Cassini probe

In October, NASA's Cassini probe will make two flybys of Saturn's moon Enceladus, one of which will take the spacecraft a mere 30 miles above the surface.

Photo Quiz: California or Mars — can you tell them apart?

California is dry, but not as dry as Mars. Sometimes though, the two places look eerily similar. Take our quiz to see if you can tell them apart.

El Niño: Weakening trade winds could mean heavy SoCal rains

Trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are weakening, which is helping the El Niño pattern gain strength, according to the latest data from NOAA.

Recent rains didn't cut Southern California's fire risk

Despite some areas getting an inch of precipitation, fire risk across the region remains high. Things will get worse as temperatures rise this week.

Santa Ana winds may increase during El Niño

Some El Niño winters may be correlated with more Santa Ana wind events, according to a new analysis from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Chinese goods have higher carbon footprint than US ones

A study from UC Irvine found that Chinese factories emit more carbon to make certain products than almost any other country in the world.

Supermoon eclipse: What is it and where can you watch it?

Sunday Sept. 27, the moon will undergo a total lunar eclipse. It will also be slightly closer in its orbit, making it look larger than usual.

LA area has highest urban heat island effect in California

The urban heat islands effect occurs when buildings and streets trap heat. A new map shows that this effect is stronger in L.A. than anywhere else in California.

Scientists hope new bird maps will help protect threatened species

A new project from UCLA aims to use genetic information to help map the migration patterns of birds so conservationists can do more to protect threatened species.

Future of Water: A trip to the water-wise LA of 2040

In the L.A. of 25 years hence, look for "atomizing" shower heads, "smart" water meters, and homes that drink in rain water like a sponge. Don't forget the water-friendly tacos.

Future of water: How to make a drought-friendly taco (and a call for your recipes)

Are you a drought-friendly foodie? Send us your best recipes using the hashtag #CAwater2040.

Future of Water: How hot, dry and crowded will CA get?

Over the next 25 years, California will add about 8 million people while getting warmer and drier due to climate change. What will this mean for the future of water?

Charting Niño 3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies

An El Niño occurs when water in a large swath of the Pacific Ocean along the equator heats up more than average. This is measured by looking at sea surface temperature anomalies, or fluctuations in ocean temperature, in key parts of the ocean. This chart displays sea surface temperature fluctuations in the Niño 3.4 region during strong El Niños dating back to 1992.