John Fenderson (he, him, his)

Senior Fellow


(919) 794-7440 x 106


John Fenderson is a Senior Fellow at Croatan Institute. He has a keen interest in market based behavior change especially as it relates to social impact and environmental sustainability, and has worked with landowners in the southeast U.S. to help them create wealth through responsible stewardship of their natural assets – principally forestland. He is currently serving as a part time consultant/managing partner with Hatchie River Co., LLC as he transitions back to middle Tennessee from Little Rock, Arkansas. In Little Rock, he served as a Specialty Asset Manager for the Timberland Investment Group at U.S. Trust – a subsidiary of Bank of America, having transferred over from prior service as a financial advisor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  He has over 25 years experience in forestry and the environmental arena working in such places as the Sierra Mountains in California, as well as on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska – in addition to working for environmental organizations in the southeastern U.S. John currently serves on the boards of the Tennessee Environmental Council, the Forest Stewards Guild, and the Forest Stewardship Council – U.S.

John was previously the Senior Manager of Forestry at the National Wildlife Federation, and prior to that he was the Southeastern Regional Director for the National Network of Forest Practitioners. As the Environmental Affairs/Public Outreach Coordinator for the Tennessee Division of Forestry, he co-authored papers on Carbon Sequestration Principles for the Southeast and Valuing a Forested Viewshed. In the late Eighties, he worked for Greenpeace, while in the mid Nineties he worked with the Nature Conservancy, and the US Forest Service in California and Alaska. 

He graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Natural Sciences. From the University of Tennessee, he obtained his Masters of Science in Forest Economics and Policy. He also attended Northwestern University and currently has primary interests in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy, Conservation/Impact Finance, and market based payments for Ecosystem Services.

John is an avid Sailor – having worked at a boat yard in Maine, outdoorsman, and wooden boat builder. His most memorable experience is during a Field study in Ecuador while documenting Indigenous use of Plant medicines in the Amazon watershed. He has a beautiful daughter, Ella Claire.  


M.A., Forest Economics and Policy, University of Tennessee

B.S., Natural Sciences, Tennessee State University

Other Publications

Realizing the Economic Value of a Forested Landscape in a Viewshed, Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, Volume 34, Issue 2, May 2010, Pages 72–78, May 2010 (with Neelam C. Poudyal, Donald G. Hodges, Ward Tarkington)

Guiding principles for a practical and sustainable approach to forest carbon sequestration projects in the southern United States. Southern Group of State Foresters. Southern Group of State Foresters, 2009. (with Kline, B., Love, J. and H. Simpson.)

Master Logger Rules for the implementation of the state of Tennessee’s Master Logger statute.

Carbon Emitted, Carbon Saved, CDIAC, May 2001 (with Gregg Marland, Tristram O. West)