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

Can 3-D printers help stem spread of an invasive beetle?

The invasive shot hole borer is killing trees across Southern California but a new device made with a 3-D printer may help scientists figure out how to stop it.

Ceres' 'lonely mountain' still mysterious in new images

The dwarf planet Ceres has been full of surprises since NASA's Dawn spacecraft started photographing it earlier this year. It remains a mystery in new pictures.

Rural areas, fish and birds in danger if drought persists

A study from the Public Policy Institute of California found that if the drought lasts another three years, rural communities, wildlife and forests will suffer most.

P-32: Mountain lion who crossed the 101 killed crossing I-5

P-32, the only male puma known to successfully leave the Santa Monica Mountains and enter a larger forested area to the north was killed by a vehicle Monday morning.

Forget El Niño, the 'PDO' could be the real drought buster

A climate pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation seems to be shifting into a warm phase which is linked with years of wet weather, but it's not sure thing.

El Niño vs. the Blob: Which will win out this winter?

You may have heard a strong El Niño could bring lots of rain this winter, but there’s another weather pattern in the region that might mess things up.

California says water use fell by 27 percent in June

Data released Thursday by the State Water Resources Control Board shows 265 out of 411 local agencies hit or nearly reached savings targets.

Earthquake early warning system gets $4 million from USGS

The new funds will go toward upgrading and building around 150 new seismic sensors that can detect a quake as it starts and send warnings to nearby cities.

'Next MacGyver' contest seeks new show to inspire female engineers

The competition attracted 2,000 entries. Judges will pick five winners who will be paired with producers to further develop their ideas.

'Next MacGyver' contest hopes to inspire female engineers

It's believed the TV show MacGyver inspired young men to become problem-solving engineers. A new contest hopes to launch a show that will do the same for women.

Scientists fight to save UC Irvine trees from invasive bug

A pest known as the polyphagous shot hole borer is attacking hundreds of trees at UC Irvine, but scientists from around the region are rallying to save them.

LA says developers must dig for faults in quake-prone areas

State maps normally dictate building rules around certain faults, but with many areas still unmapped, the city of L.A. is putting its own rules in place.

How to find a 'Pluto party' or host your own Plutopalooza

Here is how you can watch live as New Horizons beams back the first signals after its historic encounter with Pluto.

No active fault under site of proposed towers, says LA

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety concluded that the fault under the site of two planned skyscrapers in Hollywood is dormant.

Pluto probe suffers glitch days before reaching its target

Engineers scrambled over the Fourth of July weekend to fix a computer problem in the New Horizons probe as makes its historic trip to Pluto.