During the 1980’s and 1990’s, under the leadership of Dr. Gary D. Schnell (Director from 1978 – 1999), the Biological Survey grew in personnel, research funding, research output, and public service. In 1987 the state legislature designated the Oklahoma Biological Survey a state agency under the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. The legislation also re-established the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory and provided permanent funding for four biologists, a data manager, and a secretary. With the aid of these new biologists and other Survey staff, external research funding grew from $17,000 in 1987 to well over $1,000,000 in 1993 (a 600 fold increase).