Fearn grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and performed as a child actor. He earned his bachelor of arts in communications and theatre at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1981 and worked as a performer and technician on "The Lost Colony", an outdoor drama about the Roanoke Colony performed at the Waterside Theatre on North Carolina's Outer Banks. He held numerous positions with the company for the next 13 years, including production stage manager, technical director and assistant director. His papers relating to that production are archived at the Outer Banks History Center .
Fearn earned his master of science in environmental communications at Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire. After graduating he spent a decade in the theater, acting and working backstage.
Fearn and his wife, Pamela, founded a sea turtle rescue group on the Carolina coast and has been education director of the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island and director of the Cape Wildlife Center in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He came to Birmingham as director of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center in 2010. He left in September 2013 to become director of the Pine Island Sanctuary and Center in Corolla, North Carolina. Kimberly Jeanty succeeded him as interim director at Ruffner Mountain.
- Spencer, Thomas (July 3, 2010) "New Ruffner Mountain preserve chief sets lofty summits." The Birmingham News