Columbus attorney James E. Butler, Jr. established the Butler Fellowships with a $1 million gift to the Institute of Ecology in 2006. A lifetime of experiences beginning with a love of fishing in Georgia's rivers instilled in James Butler a deep regard for the environment. The fellowships that bear his name are for graduate students studying aquatic ecology, water quality and land use in Georgia and surrounding states.
Each year the Odum School of Ecology in cooperation with the UGA River Basin Center awards a research assistantship to one incoming Masters student in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, who is designated a "Butler Fellow." The assistantship constitutes fall-spring funding (at 4/9 time) for two consecutive years. Applications are solicited annually through a nationwide advertisement, but applicants may also be nominated by any member of the graduate faculty of the Odum School of Ecology or faculty of the River Basin Center. Applicants should be interested in conducting applied research or policy analysis in the Southeastern US.