Dr. Merriam Hartwick Trytten, 84, a physicist and an authority on scientific manpower and education, died Sept. 8 in Decorah, Iowa. He suffered from Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Trytten was director of the office of scientific personnel of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council in Washington from 1944 to 1967. He continuted to serve as a consultant to the president of the National Academy of Sciences until 1971.
He helped extend the academy's programs for training scientists and planned the postdoctoral research associates programs that gave scientists the opportunity to work in many government laboratories.
Dr. Trytten was chairman of the advisory committee on scientific personnel of the Civil Service Commission during 1945-50. He also was a consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service and the Research and Development Board and was chairman of the Committee on International Exchange of persons in the State Department in the late 1940s.
In the early 1950s, he was the head of the Trytten Committee, made up of 24 educational, industrial and scientific leaders, which served as an advisory group to the Selective Service Committee. It set up a program for student draft deferments during the Korean conflict.
Dr. Trytten was a member of the Commission on Human Resources and Avanced Technology during 1950-54 and was its vice chairman during 1965-69. From 1967 to 1971, he was on the National Manpower Policy Task Force.
He was born in Albert Lea, Minn., and graduated from Luther College in Decorah. Later he earned a master's degree at the University of Iowa and a doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. He also held a number of honorary degrees.
After serving as superintendent of schools in Starkweather, N.D., Dr. Trytten returned to Luther College to teach physics. He interrupted his tenure there to serve with the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. He later was head of the physics department at Luther COllege and then assistant professor of physics at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Trytten came to Washington in 1941 to join the War Department's Office of Scientific Research and Development and then was with the War Manpower Commission.
He had served as an executive officer of the National Committee of Physicists during the war. He was on the Scientific Personnel Committee, an advisory group to the Office of Defense Mobilization.
He was a member of the Commission on Graduate Studies of the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education, the board of regents of Luther College and the board of trustees of St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City, Md. He belonged to the Cosmos Club.
Dr. Trytten and his wife, Hedvig, moved in Decorah in June 1977.
Also surviving are a son, George of Decorah; a daughter, Martha England, of Silver Spring; two brothers, Gilbert, of Minneapolis, and John, of Ann Arbor, Mich., seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.