David F. Merrick, II

Disaster Pracademic and Faculty Researcher in Tallahassee, Florida

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I am the Director of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program at Florida State University and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Disaster Risk Policy. In those roles I teach and research disaster and emergency management, with an emphasis on technology. My specific interests include social media and emergency management, crisis mapping, disaster logistics, maintaining my sanity, and integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into emergency management.

I manage the EMHS and CDRP research projects, including the Disaster Incident Research Team (DIRT), FSU.VOST, the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC), and our efforts in UAS and emergency management. Our faculty, staff and students stay involved in every level of EM, which matches our philosophy of focusing on "pracademics".

I teach 'Disaster Systems', 'Emergency Management Planning and Policy', 'Foundations of Emergency Management', 'Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Emergency Management', and routinely lecture on logistics, technology, and terrorism in all of our other courses.

As a national expert on UAS in disasters, I serve on the Board of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. CRASAR is a non-profit organization dedicated to deploying technical UAS services to public safety agencies worldwide. I am also a Vice Chair of the National Council on Public Safety UAS, a advocacy group working to advance the adoption and utilization of unmanned systems in emergencies.

I am happily married and live in Tallahassee, Florida with my lovely wife, two teenagers (which explains the graying hair) and a two pugs (one good, one bad). I volunteer with BSA Troop 117 (I recently retired as Scoutmaster), and spend a lot of time on the sidelines of soccer games. A lot of time.

  • Work
    • Florida State University
  • Education
    • Florida Institute of Technology
    • Florida State University