The UCLA Grand Challenges (GC) is a multi-year initiative that identifies, incentivizes, and finds solutions for the toughest environmental problems addressing our city, and by extension, our world. La Kretz Director Brad Shaffer is a founding member of the GC steering committee, where he works closely with Associate Vice Chancellor and GC leader Mark Gold to collaboratively identify and work on the challenges we face for a sustainable, ecologically healthy Los Angeles. Our first collaborative effort has been the California Conservation Genomics Initiative (CCGI), an interdisciplinary, wide-reaching project that applies cutting edge genomic techniques to address conservation and management questions for our most threatened species in the state. Currently the CCGI is working with federal and state agencies to identify an initial set of candidate endangered species and use genomics to determine how well our conservation actions have worked and their future likelihood for success.