This article explores the challenges facing citizen science as a means of joining the efforts of scientists and flood-risk affected stakeholders in motivating citizen involvement in identifying and mitigating flood risks. While citizen science harbors many advantages, including a penchant for collaborative research and the ability to motivate those affected by floods to work with scientists in elucidating and averting risk, it is not without challenges in its implementation. These include ensuring that scientists are willing to share authority with amateur citizen scientists, providing forums that encourage debate, and encouraging equal voice in developing flood risk mitigation strategies. We assess these challenges by noting the limited application of citizen science to flood-relevant problems in existing research and recommend future research in this area to meaningfully incorporate a “re-imagined” citizen science process that is based on the participatory theoretical framework. We also discuss one case study where the principles of collaboration, debate, and equal voice were put into play in an effort to apply citizen science and—in the long term—mitigate flood hazards in one set of communities.
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