Dr. Merritt has been a National Park Ranger since 1998. He has worked in several parks around the country including; Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, National Capital Parks-East, and Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historic Park. While working at National Capital Parks-East in southeast Washington, DC he worked closely with the community and youth, coordinating education and natural resource stewardship programs. He designed and coordinated the Fort Circle Parks-Trail Keeper program providing educational opportunities for inner city high school students to learn through an outdoor education program based on a science centered curriculum.
Dr. Merritt earned his PhD in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science from Texas A&M University in December of 2009. His dissertation evaluated the Negotiated Rulemaking Process at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. During his time working on his PhD at Texas A&M Dr. Merritt was on a six month detail with the Southeast Regional Office recruiting students to the NPS. He conducted lectures and recruitment presentations with hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. He helped place five seasonal or permanent students in parks in 2008-2009, and continues to mentor and build relationships throughout the National Park Service system. He was also responsible for creating new partnerships between Texas A&M University and the NPS and has mentored graduate students conducting research in the National Parks