Talk about an only-in-Santa-Barbara-variety awesome opportunity: How’d you like to get up close and personal with some of nature’s mightiest creatures while contributing to an important environmental research project? Gray Whales Count needs volunteer observers who can commit to two hours a week for as many weeks as possible between February 6 and May 20 to count gray whales during their great migration through the S. B. Channel. Interested volunteers should attend the informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, at the S. B. Museum of Natural History. Call 451-4600, or email michael@GrayWhalesCount.org.