Established in 2008, through the efforts of Jerry Wilhm and others, the endowment will allow an annual award to be given to an M.S. or Ph.D. student in the Department of Integrative Biology who has a research emphasis in aquatic ecology/toxicology. The award is intended to help support the students's graduate research project. Dr. S. L. "Bud" Burks was a professor and Director of the Water Quality Laboratory in the Department of Integrative Biology at OSU. During Dr. Burks' tenure at OSU, he was an important part of many activities in the Department of Integrative Biology. His courses in environmental sciences and toxicology enabled many students to obtain unique lecture and laboratory experiences. He guided many graduate students in research topics related to aquatic toxicology. Dr. Burks interacted with many individuals in industry and was instrumental in maintaining and obtaining funds from the Oklahoma Oil Refiners' Waste Control Council. The funds generated from these awards supported the research of many graduate students. Although he had a heavy research load, Dr. Burks was always available to serve on committees and to assist in departmental and university development.