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 Although I notice it's already out of date since I think I did most of the work in 2004 or 2005 and since then CCBER has replaced the Museum of Systematics and Ecology at UCSB.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.
Remember these are all resources that are available. The use that you put them to is limited only by your imagination.