Todays visit to CCBER reminded me to remind me that as CCS students you are also UCSB students (well duh) but you are also UC students. The combined resources of the UC system are tremendous, and are potentially available to you as UC students.
Berkeley, for example, has a tremendous set of museums and has much of their data online and searchable already.
In another lifetime I worked on some websites at Berkeley and one of them had a table of all the departments, research groups and museums studying ecology and environmental change in California. This may be useful link to bookmark if you ever need museum data. Although I notice it's already out of date since I think I did most of the work in 2004 or 2005 and since then CCBER has replaced the Museum of Systematics and Ecology at UCSB. There are also pages of links to field sites, field stations, state agencies and much more.
For those who enjoy very slight coincidences (everyone, right?). I just finished reading 'Anthrax: The Investigation of a Deadly Outbreak' about the Sverdlovsk anthrax leak, an incident where spores of anthrax were accidentally released from a military facility in the city of Sverdlovsk in the former Soviet Union in 1979. The ensuing outbreak of the disease resulted in 94 people becoming infected, 64 of whom died over a period of six weeks. The outbreak was denied by the Soviet Union for decades. Prior to communist rule Sverdlovsk was known as Yekaterinburg. In fact it has reverted to this name again today. Having gone my whole life without ever hearing of this town it seemed a coincidence to hear that was where Katherine Essau was from.