Dr. James Toevs is a 1960 graduate of East High School. When he started college at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as a Boettcher Scholar he was considering two possible careers - physics or music. He opted for physics and earned a physics degree from CU. He then went on graduate school at CalTech where he obtained a doctorate in experimental nuclear astrophysics, and then went to work teaching at Hope College in Holland, Michigan during the 70s. He also taught and consulted in acoustics.
He began his research career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico in 1980. He conceived and developed one of the approaches to nuclear driven directed energy. He left Los Alamos in the 1990s to work at Kaman Sciences in Colorado Springs, but returned to Los Alamos after the Russian government collapsed and that country began focusing on limited disarmament. Since the end of the Cold War Jim’s work has focused on nonproliferation and sustainable arms control. He has traveled to Russia at least 50 times to assist with the Russian plutonium disposition program.
He never gave up his love of music. He is singing in his seventh season with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and his eleventh year with the Santa Fe First Presbyterian Church Choir. He played principal trumpet with the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra for a total of 20 years. He also solos and duets with First Presbyterian Church and other churches in Northern New Mexico.